• InPitzotl
    242
    Sure, provability is an example of justificationSamuel Lacrampe
    ...and that's all that matters. Your PoSR analog does not apply to math. If you restrict PoSR to causality you can get out of this, but the causal analog of justifying a claim also does not appeal to the causal analog of PoSR for the same reason the proof analog doesn't appeal to the proof version of it.
    My understanding is that the reason why the QI theory is not universally acceptedSamuel Lacrampe
    ...but that is uninteresting. You're proposing a rule (PoSR) that you propose scientists rely on that rules out randomness. So what's interesting isn't that scientists don't universally accept QI, but that scientists do not universally reject it.
    A requirement for empirical science is that the hypothesis brought forth must be empirically verifiable. Your hypothesis falls under this science because we can empirically verify it by turning on the light, or by using a night-vision camera, etc.Samuel Lacrampe
    No, we can't. If we turn on the light and/or bring in a night vision camera, all we'll find is a ball resting on the floor. We can empirically verify the theory, but applying the theory is not an empirical verification. At best we can apply the data we gathered to confirm that the theory is consistent with it. Empirical measurements apply to data; and science likes data. Laws are next... they're ways to quickly understand the data by formulating relationships... science really likes laws. But the real golden nuggets for science are theories... they try to formulate models of reality that explain deeper concepts of reality. But theories (in a scientific sense) are theoretical (in a philosophical sense)... they are not empirical measurements, they are extrapolations based on them onto features of reality.
    Let's examine this line of reasoning some more. You are here making an inference to the best explanation, aka abduction, which brings forth the simplest hypothesis that sufficiently explains all the data.Samuel Lacrampe
    Here's a bad theory about slot machines. There are three types: lucky, expecting, and due. If a slot machine has hit faster than expected in the past, it's lucky; you should play lucky machines because they're likely to pay off. If a machine hasn't hit for a bit but is reaching the frequency at which it should, it is expecting; you should play that machine because it's likely to pay off. And if a machine has gone on longer than expected but hasn't payed off yet, it is due; you should play that machine because it's going to pay off very soon. Slot machines can change types, though, so it's best to be a bit careful.

    This theory of slot machines is a sure fire recipe for going broke. It is, however, simple; and it can explain all of the data... every slot machine you've ever seen is explained here, and any machine you'll ever encounter is covered. The problem with this theory is that it doesn't stick its neck out.

    What we want in a theory isn't just to explain the data, but to explain it in the most precise way. A theory should stick its neck out... the farther the better. There should be plenty of ways the theory can be wrong; if there's no way it can be wrong, then having that theory pass a gauntlet of tests tells us nothing... of course it would pass tests... it's useless. That's why we don't like the slot machine theory...its neck is all the way in the shell. It explains everything, but it explains everything in such a manner that it explains nothing.
    This is correct scientific reasoning founded on the PoSR.Samuel Lacrampe
    No it's not. It's founded on simply the principle that we have a good working justified theory, and this explanation applies it. PoSR has nothing to do with it.
    If on the other hand, we dropped the PoSR and allowed the possibility that nothing causes the phenomenon observed, then this "no cause" hypothesis would be the simplest and thus most reasonable one to begin with; which would be absurd.Samuel Lacrampe
    No, it would not be any more reasonable than the slot machine theory, but the problem is not that it doesn't appeal to your PoSR. The problem is that it is a useless theory... like the slot machine theory, its neck is entirely in its shell. It explains everything in such a manner that it explains nothing.

    Bell's Theorem contrasts with this... it sticks its neck out. HVT's suggest probabilities that fall within certain ranges. The Born Rule suggests probabilities that fall outside of those ranges. There's a very simple way BT can fail... if the measured experimental probabilities are consistent with the HVT's, BT is wrong period; throw it out and go to the next thing. In fact, a great next thing to work on would be to see if you can find out what HVT is behind those results consistent with these probabilities. But if BT falls in the BR ranges, then those HVT's can be ruled out... throw them out and go to the next thing. That is reason; that is correct scientific reasoning; and that is precisely why you find Bell's Theorem in the scientific literature. If it had to do with PoSR, per your (as yet incomplete) definition, QI would be ruled out already.
    Based on what I've read, the HVT is in reference to local hidden variablesSamuel Lacrampe
    There are a lot more conditions required on the range of HVT's ruled out by Bell's Theorem, but you're missing the point. You are offering that you have a proof of souls. Your proof has a flaw in it... if QI is a thing, you aesthetically want to call it physical, and therefore random things are physical. Covering up this flaw with reasoning such as "well it might be okay because that only applies when" is antithetical to the purpose of claiming that you have a proof of souls. You're trying to prove something, not make excuses for it; so if there's a way your proof can have a hole, your proof should address it.
    Traditionally, what is referred to as the "soul" is that non-physical entity that survives the body after death.Samuel Lacrampe
    I understand that... but the question is what is wrong with a physical soul... are you saying that the problem is that tradition says it's not physical?
  • creativesoul
    8.3k
    Free Will enables some of our acts to be freely chosenSamuel Lacrampe

    "Free will" is a manmade conventional name. It was invented solely as a means to exhonerate the God of Abraham from the existence of evil. That need cam and yet still comes as a result of a brilliantly worded argument against the God of Abraham. The problem of evil.

    Look it up and do yourself a favor.

    We made choices long before the need to exonerate the God of Abraham from the existence of evil. We make a choice each and every time we consider the options. The problem, of course, is that sometimes one is completely unaware of some of the options that are available to them. When those unknown options are the best, there is no ability to 'freely' choose what's best.

    Feel me?
  • InPitzotl
    242
    "Free will" is a manmade conventional name. It was invented solely as a means to exhonerate the God of Abraham from the existence of evil. That need cam and yet still comes as a result of a brilliantly worded argument against the God of Abraham.creativesoul
    This sounds like an anachronism; the concept of free will traces back to the ancient Greeks... who were not exactly God of Abraham types. As far as the name goes, we're talking BCE, so this conceptualization predates the English language. Mind you, a quick search does confirm that Augustine advanced this argument, but the proposal here still sounds out of order.
    We made choices long before the need to exonerate the God of Abraham from the existence of evil. We make a choice each and every time we consider the options. The problem, of course, is that sometimes one is completely unaware of some of the options that are available to them. When those unknown options are the best, there is no ability to 'freely' choose what's best.

    Feel me?
    creativesoul
    That makes sense to me; what we subjectively seem to do when we choose is limited to what we know and think, and doesn't get to "sniff out" the result.
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    882
    Your PoSR analog does not apply to math.InPitzotl
    I don't understand your objection. Mathematical claims demand sufficient explanations like any other claims. Explanations don't always need to be proofs to be sufficient, though proofs are of course always sufficient.

    You're proposing a rule (PoSR) that you propose scientists rely on that rules out randomness. So what's interesting isn't that scientists don't universally accept QI, but that scientists do not universally reject it.InPitzotl
    [...] If it had to do with PoSR, per your (as yet incomplete) definition, QI would be ruled out already.InPitzotl
    Empirical sciences don't deal with metaphysics which is the science of reality. So when scientists say "nothing causes this event", it implies that "nothing in the empirical domain causes the event"; and they could be right about that. Empirical sciences have no say with what is real and what is not. For example, everything we observe, including the stuff QI deals with, could be caused in reality by a "brain-in-a-vat" situation. Thus even though the QI stuff would really be caused by the vat, scientists could still truthfully say that "nothing (in the empirical domain) causes the event".

    We can empirically verify the theory, but applying the theory is not an empirical verification.InPitzotl
    So what? If we can empirically verify the theory, then it falls under empirical sciences.

    Here's a bad theory about slot machines.InPitzotl
    I think your point is that the PoSR is not the only principle needed to find truth? Sure. Neither is the LNC. It doesn't mean they are false. Note also that if your theory about slot machines did not sufficiently explain the data observed, say, "they never hit", then this theory would automatically be rejected for it fails to sufficiently explain what we observe.

    There are a lot more conditions required on the range of HVTInPitzotl
    That doesn't matter. So long as those variables have a location property, then they are physical.

    Your proof has a flaw in it... if QI is a thing, you aesthetically want to call it physical, and therefore random things are physical. Covering up this flaw with reasoning such as "well it might be okay because that only applies when" is antithetical to the purpose of claiming that you have a proof of souls.InPitzotl
    I don't get your refutation of my new argument. Whether QI deals with physical things or not is irrelevant, since my argument only applies to things in the non-quantum scale.

    I understand that... but the question is what is wrong with a physical soul... are you saying that the problem is that tradition says it's not physical?InPitzotl
    The property of being non-physical is essential to the concept of the soul. So if you find a new physical thing, you are free to call it whatever you want, including "soul", but it would merely be a homonym.
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    882
    Hello.
    I think you are referring to "Intellectual Determinism", which holds that the human will necessarily acts on the mind's judgment that something is better. This is true in the case when our reason is not in conflict with our "appetite", which is our desire for pleasure and undesire for pain. But in a case when our reason conflicts with our appetite, then we can make the free choice to obey our reason or our appetite. The fact is that not all mistakes are honest mistakes, where a dishonest mistake is when we decide to act a certain way despite "knowing better".
  • creativesoul
    8.3k


    Actually when it comes to talking about the human will and whether or not it makes any sense at all to claim that it is free...

    Calling the will "free" is to neglect the fact that our will is influenced by more things that we can possibly become aware of. In short, the human will is not free from influence, whether that be internal or external or both. If the will is not free from influence, then it makes no sense whatsoever to call it "free". The closest thing we could possibly have to free will is for us to carefully pick the right kind of influences.



    Regarding the bit about mistakes...


    There is no mistake that is made on purpose. One is aware of one's own mistake, regardless of the variety, when the unexpected happens.

    To talk in terms of "when reason conflicts with our appetite" is unhelpful here. Even in the cases where the individual is knowingly, intentionally, and deliberately breaking the rules, they do so because they think it's the best thing to do at that time, based upon whatever they are thinking at that time. Even here, it is only as a result of something somewhere along the line not going as expected, that one is mistaken.

    All mistakes are based upon false belief about what's not yet happened, but is expected to.
  • InPitzotl
    242
    I'm rearranging this for focus.
    I think your point is that the PoSR is not the only principle needed to find truth?Samuel Lacrampe
    No; my point is that the PoSR is superfluous, not foundational, to science.
    It doesn't mean they are false.Samuel Lacrampe
    The slot machine theory isn't false; it's vacuously true. That's why you can't use it to bet... it's useless. You will go flat broke using your slot machine theory before proving it untrue, because fundamentally it's irrefutable, because it doesn't actually say anything. It's a "facade" of a theory... it presents the illusion of meaning without actually having to mean something.
    Mathematical claims demand sufficient explanations like any other claims.Samuel Lacrampe
    We require a mathematical conjecture be proven before we believe it is true. But there are mathematical conjectures that are true that we simply haven't proven yet; likewise, there are mathematical conjectures that are true but unprovable.

    Analogously, we require inductive claims to be justified before they warrant belief. But there are propositions about the world that are true that have yet to be justified. And there's no guarantee that a true proposition about the world can be justified.
    Whether QI deals with physical things or not is irrelevant, since my argument only applies to things in the non-quantum scale.Samuel Lacrampe
    This is special pleading though, and I'm not sure how your argument can survive it. If QI were a thing, then certain classes TRNG's are truly random, and they produce random effects on classical scales. The scale isn't the problem; the random mechanics is.

    But you have an unfinished new definition of PoSR to work on anyway (didn't come up in the last post except by quick mention). PoSR is the principle that for all things there is a sufficient cause where sufficient refers to the fact that the cause cannot be "greater" than the effect, but we still have no functional definition of greater... and this is part of why I'm rearranging this post... because the more we try to resolve what PoSR is, the more it looks like slot machine theory.

    Regarding the physical, I think it may be best to just back up and try to get a much better definition of the physical than you currently have... I think you're underestimating what it takes to explain what physical means:
    That doesn't matter. So long as those variables have a location property, then they are physical.Samuel Lacrampe
    ...it's not quite that easy. In quantum mechanics, and especially in context with Bell's Theorem, counterfactual definiteness itself is questionable. Related to this context, that means that particles in QM do not in fact have a well defined location. This can get more complicated with certain theoretical physics constructs such as the Holographic Principle.
    Empirical sciences don't deal with metaphysics which is the science of reality.Samuel Lacrampe
    You can technically talk about empirical science, but the thing we talk about when we say science doesn't equate to empirical. Empirical refers only to that which we measure and observe... when we make measurements and observations, they become data. Theories are not data; they are speculative attempts to describe the reality that produces the data. Sure, you can test a theory empirically, but that's part of the problem with your definition... because you can also test a theory theoretically (non-empirically)... this is, for example, a large part of what theoretical physics does. It seems you want to describe the limits of science, but to do that properly in a proof, you cannot be lazy here.
    Empirical sciences have no say with what is real and what is not. For example, everything we observe, including the stuff QI deals with, could be caused in reality by a "brain-in-a-vat"Samuel Lacrampe
    ...we need not refer to 17th century thought experiments here. MWI posits that reality is a universal wavefunction, and classical physics is emergent. CI with real WFC posits that QM is just an odd calculation trick, possibly ontic somehow, but that classical physics is fundamental. Those describe different metaphysics. But here's the problem with your "easy" description of the physical... it's kind of an open question still whether science can or cannot distinguish these two metaphysically distinct theories. The way you phrase it, though, it's just "obvious" science can't do this. A more fair assessment is simply that there's no guarantee of what science could do here versus could not do... someone could always invent a clever trick to test something that we just didn't think of. All we really know is that if we use good science and manage to show e.g. that MWI is what reality is like, that we leave a trail of justification worthy to warrant belief.
    The property of being non-physical is essential to the concept of the soul.Samuel Lacrampe
    Why? Because some religious leader or lexicographer dictated it? What do you lose should the soul be physical? What if, say, there were indeed a whole spiritual aspect to reality, but, it turned out, that this aspect was much more complex and rich than what the current batch of religions describe? What if spirituality followed principles and laws? And if we write those down side by side with the principles and laws we call "physical", how clear is it exactly whether some arbitrary new law we discover should go into the physical bucket or the spiritual one? What is it about the soul being non-physical that's so important to you?
  • creativesoul
    8.3k


    "Invoked" would have been better than "invented" if the Greeks invented free will. I had not heard that before you... Haven't checked. I'll take your word for it until I do. Years back, the etymology led me to what I said earlier....

    ...or so I thought.

    :wink:
  • Kenosha Kid
    519
    No objection; just thinking out loud. What you describe indeed does not fit determinism, and yet a probability distribution still implies some sort of order. It is odd that it is not fully ordered, yet not fully random... For some reason, I would be more willing to accept full absence of order over partial order.Samuel Lacrampe

    Just to jump in here as a quantum theorist myself, quantum theory is not demonstrably non-deterministic. The wavefunction evolves deterministically. The issue is with the interpretation of Born's postulate that the absolute square of the wavefunction projected onto some fixed state is proportional to the probability of finding it in that state. There are determinist interpretations of this (many-worlds interpretation) and probabilistic ones (Copenhagen). How nature evolves a system from a deterministically-evolving wave to a final state (the measurement problem) is unsolved, however early evidence points in one of two directions, both of which are deterministic.

    So P1 is valid, but not definitely true. But then what is...

    P2 seems to me the faulty one, for reasons Forest has already covered. There is nothing in the definition of free will inconsistent with determinism. Your defense iirc was that you believe free will to be non-deterministic in nature, making the argument circular.
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    882
    If the will is not free from influence, then it makes no sense whatsoever to call it "free".creativesoul
    They are not incompatible. Picture the good and bad angels on each side of a person's shoulders like here. There are two influences, and the will can pick a side. This is of course not an argument in defence of free will, but it shows it is possible to be both influenced and free.

    The closest thing we could possibly have to free will is for us to carefully pick the right kind of influences.creativesoul
    How can we pick anything if the will is not free?

    Even in the cases where the individual is knowingly, intentionally, and deliberately breaking the rules, they do so because they think it's the best thing to do at that time, based upon whatever they are thinking at that time.creativesoul
    You have heard of "willpower"? Take a 5km jog. All the runners on that jog know rationally that the short-term pain felt will result in long-term health benefits, and that they will not get injured from it. Yet some runners finish it, and some quit before finishing. Those who finished have applied more willpower than those who quit.
  • creativesoul
    8.3k
    The wavefunction evolves deterministically.Kenosha Kid

    I know that this is way off topic, but jeesh, I'm glad I'm not the only one who realizes this, and I'm no quantum theorist.
  • creativesoul
    8.3k
    How can we pick anything if the will is not freeSamuel Lacrampe

    You're just calling the ability to choose between options "free will". I'm not interested...

    Be well.
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    882
    The slot machine theory isn't false; it's vacuously true. [...] You will go flat broke using your slot machine theory before proving it untrue, because fundamentally it's irrefutable, because it doesn't actually say anything.InPitzotl
    I think the theory is false. It seems to commit the Gambler's fallacy. You can also disprove it statistically by playing it a large amount of time, or better yet, dismantle it to know its mechanism.

    But there are mathematical conjectures that are true that we simply haven't proven yet; likewise, there are mathematical conjectures that are true but unprovable. [...] there are propositions about the world that are true that have yet to be justified. And there's no guarantee that a true proposition about the world can be justified.InPitzotl
    Sure; if we don't know if a claim is true, then we likely also don't know why it is true. But how does that go against the PoSR? The PoSR just states, in the case of epistemology, that if we claim to know that a claim is true, then the explanation must be sufficient.

    If QI were a thing, then certain classes TRNG's are truly random, and they produce random effects on classical scales.InPitzotl
    That doesn't sound right. At the classical scale, we have the laws of physics, and they are called laws because they are universal. So even if there is randomness at the quantum scale, it fades away before reaching the classical scale. This is possible due to such things as the Central Limit Theorem and Law of Large Numbers.

    PoSR is the principle that for all things there is a sufficient cause where sufficient refers to the fact that the cause cannot be "greater" than the effect, but we still have no functional definition of greaterInPitzotl
    I started explaining "greater" here, then I forgot where we ended up. Do you have specific questions in mind?

    Sure, you can test a theory empirically, but that's part of the problem with your definition... because you can also test a theory theoretically (non-empirically)... this is, for example, a large part of what theoretical physics does. It seems you want to describe the limits of science, but to do that properly in a proof, you cannot be lazy here.InPitzotl
    I think "theoretical physics" is more in regards to how the theories came about, not in regards to whether the theory can be empirically verified or not. E.g. the theory of relativity is part of theoretical physics, but can be and has been empirically verified. Now the reason I define "science" as "the search for truths that are empirically verifiable" is to contrast it with "philosophy" which I define as "search for truths that are not empirically (so rationally) verifiable", and which exists separate from science. That's the reason why such fields as ethics, metaphysics, epistemology and even "philosophy of science" are not part of science.

    ...we need not refer to 17th century thought experiments here. [...]InPitzotl
    Sorry, I can't let this one go. Along the same line as the brain-in-vat, there is always the logical possibility that your entire conscious life experience is nothing but a dream. And this would include everything you know about science. Thus the "science as you know it" could not counter this (but philosophy can).

    What do you lose should the soul be physical?InPitzotl
    What do you lose should a triangle have four sides, or a rock be made out of plastic? Concepts come before the words that refer to them; and these have essential properties.
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    882
    Hello.

    [...] however early evidence points in one of two directions, both of which are deterministic.Kenosha Kid
    Sounds good to me.

    P2 seems to me the faulty one, for reasons Forest has already covered. There is nothing in the definition of free will inconsistent with determinism. Your defense iirc was that you believe free will to be non-deterministic in nature, making the argument circular.Kenosha Kid
    I forget the reasons brought forth by Forest; but aren't free will and determinism contradictory by definition?
    Determinism: Given Cause A, Effect B always follows.
    Free Will: The will has the ability to choose between multiple effects.
  • Kenosha Kid
    519
    I forget the reasons brought forth by Forest; but aren't free will and determinism contradictory by definition?
    Determinism: Given Cause A, Effect B always follows.
    Free Will: The will has the ability to choose between multiple effects.
    Samuel Lacrampe

    I can and do choose between multiple actions with associated hoped-for effects. It's me and me alone working out the most efficacious course of action in a given situation at a given time, which meets your definition of free will.

    Other definitions have the "could have done otherwise" problem, or the "without constraint from fate" problem which, for a given definition of fate, can mean that it is insufficient for it to be me choosing between multiple options, I must also do so without cause. This would be nondeteterministic, but it doesn't describe how I choose my actions.

    [EDIT: Hello back! Where are my manners?!?]
  • InPitzotl
    242
    I think the theory is false. ... You can also disprove it statistically by playing it a large amount of time, or better yet, dismantle it to know its mechanism.Samuel Lacrampe
    You forget that SMT says machines can change types. There's no way it can fail! Your empirical statistical test will simply count 100% success rates, since there's no failure scenario. SMT isn't just true... there's no way it can be false. Or to use the traditional term, it's unfalsifiable.
    It seems to commit the Gambler's fallacy.Samuel Lacrampe
    And you seem to be committing a fallacy fallacy. SMT's unfalsifiable; that makes it useless. SMT is simply an illustration of an unfalsifiable useless theory. I have no idea why you're trying to challenge it; it's as if you have an allergy to the concept of an unfalsifiable/useless theory. But, okay. Let's make a bet. I'll bet you cannot name a single scenario where SMT fails.
    That doesn't sound right. ... So even if there is randomness at the quantum scale, it fades away before reaching the classical scale.Samuel Lacrampe
    Have you never heard of TRNG's? How about Geiger Counters? Or interference patterns or breaking of them? Or challenge yourself at the most basic of levels... how do you think us classical level beings ever managed to develop a theory of quantum mechanics in the first place if quantum mechanical effects always fade before reaching our scale?
    At the classical scale, we have the laws of physics, and they are called laws because they are universal.Samuel Lacrampe
    No, they're called laws because they summarize the data in predictable terms. Hooke's law, for example, is known not to be universal... it fails once your spring exceeds its elastic limit.
    I started explaining "greater" here, then I forgot where we ended up. Do you have specific questions in mind?Samuel Lacrampe
    Yes. What does greater mean in terms of your new definition of sufficient? Forgetting I understand, but all of these posts are still here... just go back and review them.
    I think "theoretical physics" isSamuel Lacrampe
    I don't get it. This is the year 2020, supposedly well into the information age... so instead of opining, why not just look things up?
    Theoretical physics is a branch of physics that employs mathematical models and abstractions of physical objects and systems to rationalize, explain and predict natural phenomena. — Wikipedia
    Sorry, I can't let this one go.Samuel Lacrampe
    Sorry, but what is the point of this? MWI's you're-splitting-into-countless-versions-of-yourself-that-you-aren't-aware-of is actually part of a respectable theory. You're allegedly trying to make the point that science doesn't deal with the metaphysical, despite this counterexample, by brain-vatting and Tommy-Westphalling? Not even theoretical physicists treat Boltzmann brains and superdeterminism seriously.
    What do you lose should a triangle have four sidesSamuel Lacrampe
    Not analogous. We can both count to four, but you don't quite know what physical means. Let's back up. Why is it important to you that we have souls at all? What does not having a soul mean we cannot say, that having a soul means we could?
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    882

    I'm not fully understanding your point. That said, given the first definition of free will you wrote, do you still think that it is compatible with determinism?
  • Kenosha Kid
    519
    I'm not fully understanding your point. That said, given the first definition of free will you wrote, do you still think that it is compatible with determinism?Samuel Lacrampe

    Yes, absolutely. I am free to choose, that is: I am the agent selecting the course of action of whatever potential actions occur to me, and to realise that action.

    The question of whether this is deterministic is the question of how I choose. The situation I am in is fixed. In that situation, I must identify a most-attractive outcome. With respect to that outcome I must think of various potential actions. And of those actions, I must assess which is the most likely to realise that outcome. There is no part of this that is necessarily non-deterministic unless one has assumed non-determinism elsewhere.

    Caveat: not all human behaviour is rational. Free will discussions usual focus on rational decision-making and I have followed suit.
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    882
    In general, can you define your acronyms before using them? I take it SMT means Slot Machine Theory.

    You forget that SMT says machines can change types.InPitzotl
    But all 3 types are expected to pay off soon; so if you test them repeatedly and they don't pay off soon, then the theory has been falsified. Also you can still dismantle one of each type to check the mechanism. Also the theory concludes that you should play regardless of the type, even though you said the theory is a sure fire way to go broke; so the theory will be falsified simply by applying it. Finally, even if a theory is empirically unfalsifiable, it can still be rationally rejected as unreasonable. That's why we have such principles as Parsimony (Occam's Razor).

    Have you never heard of TRNG's? How about Geiger Counters? Or interference patterns or breaking of them? Or challenge yourself at the most basic of levels... how do you think us classical level beings ever managed to develop a theory of quantum mechanics in the first place if quantum mechanical effects always fade before reaching our scale?InPitzotl
    Alright. It appears that if QI exists, then randomness can carry all the way to the classical scale. So my new argument is flawed.

    For fun, I could revamp it as so (needs polishing but you get the overall idea):
    Causally speaking, everything that is physical is either determined or random. Acts from agents with free will are neither determined nor random. Therefore agents with free will are not physical.

    No, they're called laws because they summarize the data in predictable terms. Hooke's law, for example, is known not to be universal... it fails once your spring exceeds its elastic limit.InPitzotl
    Alright.

    What does greater mean in terms of your new definition of sufficient?InPitzotl
    I have already answered this general question here. What specific questions do you have, starting from there?

    Theoretical physics is a branch of physics that employs mathematical models and abstractions of physical objects and systems to rationalize, explain and predict natural phenomena. — Wikipedia
    That's right, theoretical physics may differ from experimental physics in the amount of mathematics it uses. But the model output must still be empirically verifiable. From the same page (underlines added): "A physical theory is a model of physical events. It is judged by the extent to which its predictions agree with empirical observations. The quality of a physical theory is also judged on its ability to make new predictions which can be verified by new observations."

    MWI's you're-splitting-into-countless-versions-of-yourself-that-you-aren't-aware-of is actually part of a respectable theory.InPitzotl
    Is it not empirically verifiable, at least in principle? Side note: I suspect the MWI came about due to our desire to satisfy the PoSR; because if not for that, then why don't scientists just accept QI and be done with it?

    Also my points on the brain-in-a-vat and dream still stand. Metaphysics is beyond science. But what about you? How do you make the distinction between fields of science vs philosophy?

    Why is it important to you that we have souls at all?InPitzotl
    For me? Religious reasons. But this should not count for or against any of the arguments brought forth previously.
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    882
    The question of whether this is deterministic is the question of how I choose.[...]Kenosha Kid
    I agree that if humans were always willing to obey their voice of reason, then they would act in a determined way, called Intellectual Determinism, and all errors would merely be honest rational errors. But that is not the case.

    Typically, the free will chooses between two conflicting values, where one value is driven by the "appetite" (ie our desire for pleasure and undesire for pain) on one hand, and another value is driven by reason on the other hand (such as health, moral duty, etc). This image comes to mind, where the dark angel is the appetite, and the white angel is the reason.
  • InPitzotl
    242
    But all 3 types are expected to pay off soon; so if you test them repeatedly and they don't pay off soon, then the theory has been falsified.Samuel Lacrampe
    Ah, but you're forgetting the "falsity indemnification clause":
    Slot machines can change types, though, so it's best to be a bit careful.InPitzotl
    Also you can still dismantle one of each type to check the mechanism.Samuel Lacrampe
    ...if you could. But, if you could, you still won't falsify the theory. You'd merely have more information as to what type of machine it is. In fact, such a thing would simply be being careful, which the theory tells you to do.
    Also the theory concludes that you should play regardless of the typeSamuel Lacrampe
    ...it not so much concludes that you should as waffles; again, see indemnification clause.
    Finally, even if a theory is empirically unfalsifiable, it can still be rationally rejected as unreasonable. That's why we have such principles as Parsimony (Occam's Razor).Samuel Lacrampe
    Of course it's unreasonable... that's the whole point of it! But the problem with the theory isn't its lack of parsimony. Strictly speaking, a machine will either pay off before, roughly at, or after the expected frequency of payoff. There's no simpler description of when the machine would pay off. The problem with the theory is that it's useless. It doesn't give us any real information or use... it doesn't let you predict anything, doesn't tell you what you don't already know. But you said the problem was that it doesn't appeal to PoSR, which in our current form is some foundational principle about what you believe based on whether causes cannot be greater than effects or what not.
    For fun, I could revamp it as so (needs polishing but you get the overall idea):
    Causally speaking, everything that is physical is either determined or random. Acts from agents with free will are neither determined nor random. Therefore agents with free will are not physical.
    Samuel Lacrampe
    Indeed, you can revamp it that way. So as I understand it, this form of argument goes roughly like this. Random things and deterministic things are physical, but free will being neither random nor deterministic is non-physical. We have free will. Therefore we have a non-physical component, which we shall call a soul. Is that the form of argument you wish to present?
    I have already answered this general question hereSamuel Lacrampe
    No, you haven't. You used the word greater and said "in terms of", but there's no real lemon test I can put to this. Like the slot machine theory, there's no actual prediction I can rule out based on PoSR. You tried this twice, remember, and actually managed to rule out things that increase in energy one of those two times? That's how bad this definition is. We need something useful... something that can either actually be used, or something to where when we find a counterexample we can say for sure, "oh, I'm sorry, PoSR must be false then". If we don't have that... if you don't stick your neck out here... we just have a slot machine theory... nothing more than a poetic way to describe whatever is post-hoc.
    But the model output must still be empirically verifiable.Samuel Lacrampe
    Not.... really. At the theoretical phases it simply should be coherent; it helps if it's "aesthetic" in some way. At some point down the road hopefully it'll be verifiable somehow, but the guy making the theory can still publish papers on it and discuss it even if he has no idea how to verify it. How do we verify String Theory? We don't know yet; don't know if it can be verified. Still, working out what forms it can take is part of the theoretical physicists' jobs, if they're interested in such things. So whereas this:
    "It is judged by the extent to which its predictions agree"Samuel Lacrampe
    ...is true, it's not a requirement for outputting (discussing/publishing/debating/etc) theoretical physics... it's instead a requirement for acceptance of the theory.
    Is it not empirically verifiable, at least in principle?Samuel Lacrampe
    We don't quite know yet.
    Side note: I suspect the MWI came about due to our desire to satisfy the PoSRSamuel Lacrampe
    Again with the opining of things already on the internet. Hugh Everett discusses his motivations in the introduction to his paper "The Theory of the Universal Wavefunction". Basically, compared with prior theory, the Born Rule looked a bit odd, artificial, and anti-symmetric. Roughly, the cat is supposed to be in a superposition, but Schrodinger is supposed to be a classical observer. But if Schrodinger were in a bigger box he's supposed to be in superposition. The rule being applied here is parsimony... the Born Rule is redundant, arbitrary, and inconsistent, so throw it out.
    How do you make the distinction between fields of science vs philosophy?Samuel Lacrampe
    I'm not sure distinct is the right word... how would you distinguish natural sciences from natural philosophy?
    For me? Religious reasons. But this should not count for or against any of the arguments brought forth previously.Samuel Lacrampe
    That's not what I'm after.

    Joe and Bob are part of an elite group of people with a particular superpower; a mental feat requiring great intelligence that sets them apart from the rest of humanity. Or, so they thought. A guru comes to Joe one day and, to his great surprise, demonstrates that he's wrong... in fact, as it turns out, generally all humans have this capability. Later, the same guru visits Bob, demonstrating the same thing. Joe becomes severely depressed... Joe has believed all his life that he was special, and the guru just proved him wrong. Bob, OTOH, gets really excited. He believed all his life that he was special but, as it turns out, the guru proved that all of humanity is special.

    Let's forget religion for just a second, except for that part of it that says whatever it says about the soul. But suppose the guru comes and proves that we are, in fact, physical. Are you Joe in this story, or are you Bob? Are you going to say, oh gee, we're not special because we're nothing but stinking dead matter? Or will you say, wait, physical things are like us too? I never thought physical things could be so special?

    I'm not interested in defusing you of your religion... just your preconceptions. What I am asking is what the soul actually does for you, that you think being physical kills... with a side question of, why does it kill it?
  • Kenosha Kid
    519
    Typically, the free will chooses between two conflicting values, where one value is driven by the "appetite" (ie our desire for pleasure and undesire for pain) on one hand, and another value is driven by reason on the other hand (such as health, moral duty, etc). This image comes to mind, where the dark angel is the appetite, and the white angel is the reason.Samuel Lacrampe

    That was part of my caveat. But this too may be deterministic. There are people who would starve to deatg before stealing a loaf of bread. There are criminals who would steal for the least reason. The rest of us would steal a loaf of bread if we were sufficiently hungry. How we choose depends on the circumstances (what are my values, am I starving, is there bread, will anyone know, etc), i.e. is deterministic.
  • Becky
    38
    “The scientific community has no consensus on whether quantum indeterminacy is a thing or not“ Brings up Schrödinger's cat. The act of observation changes the physical thing.
  • InPitzotl
    242
    "The scientific community has no consensus on whether quantum indeterminacy is a thing or not" Brings up Schrödinger's cat. The act of observation changes the physical thing.Becky
    Your use of the word "physical" is ambiguous. The controversy is based on your favorite interpretation of quantum mechanics (see Sean Carroll's "The Most Embarrasing Graph in Modern Physics"). In QM there are two processes... the Schrodinger Equation and the Born Rule. The former is deterministic; the latter is where indeterminacy comes in. The second process is controversial; MWI, for example, just "rejects" it (it's still there, it's just emergent... it's an anthropic consequence rather than something real)... when Schrodinger opens the box, his wavefunction just entangles with its contents (measurement is entanglement in MWI), leading to a world where Schrodinger sees a living cat and a world where he sees a dead cat (and to MWI, the wavefunction itself is physical; I'm guessing you mean what I tend to call classical?) Keeping that and Sean Carroll's embarrasing graph in mind, see this table for an inventory of where various interpretations stand on quantum indeterminacy (the Deterministic column should do).
  • Kenosha Kid
    519
    In QM there are two processes... the Schrodinger Equation and the Born Rule. The former is deterministic; the latter is where indeterminacy comes in. The second process is controversial; MWI, for example, just "rejects" it (it's still there, it's just emergent... it's an anthropic consequence rather than something real)... when Schrodinger opens the box, his wavefunction just entangles with its contents (measurement is entanglement in MWI), leading to a world where Schrodinger sees a living cat and a world where he sees a dead cat (and to MWI, the wavefunction itself is physical; I'm guessing you mean what I tend to call classical?)InPitzotl

    Butting in, there are five postulates of QM, one of which is the Born postulate, and that is not rejected by MWI. The Born rule does not dictate collapse, it just maps solutions of the Schroedinger equations to statistical outcomes. How those outcomes individually arise is the measurement problem, which lies outside of scope of QM. One proposal is spontaneous collapse upon observation (Copenhagen). Another is branching (MWI). Then there's all the others.

    Bohm theory is mathematically identical to QM, to that extent is the same theory, but does not contain indeterminacy*, so has no fundamental use for the Born rule. For the Bohm interpretation, the Born rule is simply a way of predicting statistical outcomes of a large number of experiments whose starting conditions are exactly knowable in principle but unknown in practise. I'm not aware of any other interpretation that doesn't include indeterminacy.

    *ish

    Indeterminacy doesn't seem an obvious way of getting non-materialistic phenomena in by the back door. For instance, I've heard that God selects the outcome of every measurement, which rather confines God to adhering very strictly to predictable statistical patterns.
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    882

    Sorry, I'm a bit late in responding to these posts. I'll get to them tomorrow.
  • InPitzotl
    242

    You should be aware of something about me personally related to that... I'm incredibly patient. Don't ever feel you have to reply to me "timely"... in fact, I would prefer you took your time, and got about any actually important stuff in your life (including just enjoying it, which I consider important).

    Reply whenever you're ready, not when you feel you're "supposed" to, because I'm not holding you to any time frames.
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    882
    Regarding the Slot Machine Theory in general. Not gonna lie, I still don't see your view on it being unfalsifiable; but it's not that important because it is merely an example to illustrate a point. Your point, as I understand it, is that the PoSR is (1) too generic to be falsifiable, and (2) not substantial enough to make an impact on our reasoning. Is that it?

    If so, I respond that (1) It is indeed hard to falsify, due to my claim that it is a first principle, which means it cannot be judged by appealing to any prior principles; very much like the LNC. But also like the LNC, it can be posited from induction and the criteria for self-evidence. (2) it does impact our reasoning in hypothesis testing. E.g. "What caused the Big Bang? Maybe a Little Bang?" This hypothesis would be automatically rejected on the grounds that it does not sufficiently explain the phenomena.

    Random things and deterministic things are physical, but free will being neither random nor deterministic is non-physical. We have free will. Therefore we have a non-physical component, which we shall call a soul. Is that the form of argument you wish to present?InPitzotl
    Close. The first premise should be changed to "All physical things are either deterministic or random". We can defend this claim either by observations, or by appealing to the Law of Excluded Middle, as previously described here in the last paragraph.

    there's no real lemon test I can put to this.InPitzotl
    Are you a proponent of Scientism? The PoSR is a principle of metaphysics which transcends science. Again, the scientific method does not judge the PoSR, it's the opposite way around due to abductive reasoning. Analogically, how can we test the LNC?

    At the theoretical phases it simply should be coherent; it helps if it's "aesthetic" in some way. At some point down the road hopefully it'll be verifiable somehow, but the guy making the theory can still publish papers on it and discuss it even if he has no idea how to verify it.InPitzotl
    From this page: "For a hypothesis to be a scientific hypothesis, the scientific method requires that one can test it." The criteria is not how it can be verified, but if it can be verified in principle. This is why claims like the ones about the existence of God (as a non-physical being, not the greek gods) are judged to be non-scientific.

    how would you distinguish natural sciences from natural philosophy?InPitzotl
    I'm fairly sure the two names are interchangeable, where the former is the modern name of the latter. But this is not the case for the terms "science" and "philosophy" in general (except for proponents of scientism). E.g. Ethics and epistemology are not part of science but of philosophy.

    What I am asking is what the soul actually does for you, that you think being physical kills... with a side question of, why does it kill it?InPitzotl
    Physical things can be destroyed, in the sense of spatially split in pieces. Non-physical things, having no spatial properties, cannot be spatially split. E.g. we can split a red object into two, but not the concept of "red".

    Also, by the way you use the word "physical", it sounds like for you there is no difference between the terms "physical" and "reality". What, in theory, would constitute a non-physical thing for you?
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    882
    How we choose depends on the circumstances (what are my values, am I starving, is there bread, will anyone know, etc), i.e. is deterministic.Kenosha Kid
    But if all the circumstances are deterministic, including our values, then why claim that we have free will at all?
  • InPitzotl
    242
    Your point, as I understand it, is that the PoSR is (1) too generic to be falsifiable, and (2) not substantial enough to make an impact on our reasoning. Is that it?Samuel Lacrampe
    Sort of. The current definition you have for it has both these properties.
    If so, I respond that (1) It is indeed hard to falsify, due to my claim that it is a first principle, which means it cannot be judged by appealing to any prior principles; very much like the LNC. But also like the LNC, it can be posited from induction and the criteria for self-evidence.Samuel Lacrampe
    You're missing the point. You're trying to apply PoSR in a particular way. But if your application of PoSR can be wrong without violating PoSR, then there's giant questions as to whether PoSR is meaningful enough to apply. Go back to that CoE thing. You said according to PoSR energy cannot increase. Energy, it turns out, does indeed increase. So that's wrong. But PoSR was true anyway. How can you claim such a thing is inductive or useful?
    (2) it does impact our reasoning in hypothesis testing. E.g. "What caused the Big Bang? Maybe a Little Bang?" This hypothesis would be automatically rejected on the grounds that it does not sufficiently explain the phenomena.Samuel Lacrampe
    Why?
    The first premise should be changed to "All physical things are either deterministic or random". We can defend this claim either by observations, or by appealing to the Law of Excluded Middle, as previously described here in the last paragraph.Samuel Lacrampe
    Let's say LFW exists, and QI is a thing, and somehow we wind up showing both. Then I observe deterministic like things (computers), random things (wavefunction collapse), and original cause things (people). So here's the big question... why can't all three be physical?
    by appealing to the Law of Excluded MiddleSamuel Lacrampe
    I think you're confused. The LEM means that you either have something or you don't. But you're treating it as a guide to whether you've enumerated everything or not. It can't be used for the latter. I can't say that because I can only think of four colors, therefore there are only four colors due to the LEM. You enumerated determined things and random things, and you also have this other category of original causation (reminder... my label... this is something I picked up while talking with libertarians). LEM doesn't tell you that these are the only categories.
    Are you a proponent of Scientism? The PoSR is a principle of metaphysics which transcends science.Samuel Lacrampe
    You're reaching. You applied "greater" in your definition of sufficient to say that energy never increases, remember? But it turns out it actually does increase, due to dark energy. Being charitable to PoSR, this alone proves that your definition of "greater" is insufficient to be practically used. This has nothing to do with whether I'm a proponent of scientism.
    From this page: "For a hypothesis to be a scientific hypothesis, the scientific method requires that one can test it." The criteria is not how it can be verified, but if it can be verified in principle.Samuel Lacrampe
    FYI, a hypothesis and a theory are different kinds of things.
    I'm fairly sure the two names are interchangeable... But this is not the caseSamuel Lacrampe
    ...so there's your answer... science isn't distinct from philosophy... it's intermingled with it.
    Physical things can be destroyed, in the sense of spatially split in pieces.Samuel Lacrampe
    Okay... that's a bit bad news then, because it would appear people are splittable into pieces (link: youtube, Ramachandran) (at least two).
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