TED Conversations

siddhesh vaze

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

who is right, free will or determinism. ?

this is what i know ablout free will , that anything in this world can happen , there is always a free choice for events to occur.
and this is what i know about deterinism . that everything in this world is determined/ pre-planned and it can not be changed , events will occur as they have to .
with taking this knowledge into assumption , who is right free will or determinism.

lets put a hypothesis that determinism is right.
now in the end if we prove that determinism is wrong then the basic assumption contradicts with the result. so if you assume world to be deterministic , it wont allow you to be non-deterministic.

but lets just put a hypothesis that there is free-will in this world. that everything is possible. then if we conclude that the world is deteriministic , then our original assuption dont contradicts with our result. it means that free-will allows the world to be deterministic.
dont this proves free-will to be right?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Mar 25 2012: Free will does not mean that anything can happen. Determinism does not mean that everything is "pre-planned," because "planned" implies agency, someone who decided things before hand. Anyway, I think that the two extremes are wrong, but that we have no way of figuring this out. In your examples you said that voting for determinism would be self-contradictory (or so it seems), but I differ. It might as well look as if you are voting and that you could have voted against, and still any of these actions be predetermined by the original movements of the atoms/energy/whatever of the universe. The "free-choice," which looks as if "free-will" would be illusory. If you vote for free will, it could still contradict reality, because your vote and beliefs could still be pre-determined.

    Anyway, there are philosophers who think that nature could be deterministic and still compatible with free-will. I have not read what they say, but sounds as if they know what they are talking about. Maybe. I tend to think that the enthusiastic "give me the positions and vectors of every atom in the universe and I will tell you what happens next" (or whatever the actual quote should be), was just an exaggeration. It still refers to the way things seemed to work for physicists in that golden era. Still, that we have evolved these complex brains able to put together data means that, whether nature is deterministic or not, it is not precisely that predictable. That there is no way one life form would have known that a tiger would be hiding there, that the tiger would not know when precisely to come and eat somebody and thus hides. Thus, we have no excuses. If there is no "free-will," there is enough noise that something resembles it all right. Thus, let us try and use it for the better.
    • thumb
      Mar 26 2012: well , initially when we are starting our experiment we are assuming that we start from zero , so i dont think we can say that before deciding anything initially that decision is also goverened by free-will or determinism.
      and also you said even if universe is deterministic its not precisely predictable , so dosnt that mean free-will right (assumin there is nothing like partial-determinism )
      rest of the part totally agreed.
    • thumb
      Mar 29 2012: Hi Gabo,

      That is one of the points that I was making and I have made this clear several times.

      I understand that experiments can manipulate the results that you get but you've missed one point I made:

      You mention mathematical theory and in my first post that is exactly what I was refuting when I mentioned Bell's Theorem and how it disproved the theory set up by EPR

      the reason why I mention the universe having a paradoxical nature is because for us human beings, the natural world comes off as physicality and sometimes solid matter. This is something that EPR asserted.

      Most people when studying Quantum Mechanics tend to think that a conscious observer is impairative for the make up of the physical world. They also believe that the true make up of the universe is non-physical . Others would assert that a conscious observer is not needed because things exist as they are, with or without us.

      Now am I stating this as fact? not at the moment but then again, the evidence so far rejects many notions made by the Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.

      So call it what you will, if its not paradoxical and I'm using it in the wrong context then find a term what describe the world the way it is (of course if there is one)

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.