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So here's an idea of mine. Tell me what you think about it. If you look at a human they're made up of cells which are made up of organelles which are made up of macromolecules which are made up of molecules whic are made up of atoms, etc etc etc blah blah blah. In chemistry. Anytime something happens, there's always a 100% of a specific result. For example if you electrolyze water it becomes oxygen and hydrogen. That always happens unless there is something that prevents it from happening, in which case that factors into my idea too. Since our bodies are made up of only these chemicals then everything that happens inside of them is predetermined by the laws of chemistry, to every positron. Now think about the human brain, it too is made up of chemicals and atoms and molecules and electric impulses. Everything you think of, every decision you make, everything is determined by the chemicals and chemical reactions and electrical impulses etc. that happen. It's all cause and effect. So when you think about it, everything that happens in the entire universe could theoretically be predicted if it were possible to account for every little piece of matter. I could tell you what you're going to say next, I could know who I'm going to meet next, I could know how I'm going to die. Since all the universe is pretty much running on a clock, nothing can interrupt it. And if something did, that would only be considered part of the process and wouldn't be interruptive. That means the choices we make aren't really made by us. They were just a series of reactions happening in our brains due to positions and properties of particles of matter.

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    [quote=Sturm;376771]We are all destined for something. Nothing is random. Free will does not exist, only the illusion of it (still thats good enough for me ;-) Do you actually think I am going to hell because I am an atheist? I contend that you and I are both atheists. When … Read More

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What you propose is contradictory to free will..

The Universe is much more complex than that.. the human brain is much more complex.. There is a way of predicting what people would do (psychology), however, not all people are the same.. And sometimes we do very unpredictable things. It is not possible to time travel or even view the future.. I think if all our futures were actually destined, then there would be some way to time travel.. or at least some kind of theory.

I just don't think the Universe is as simple as that...

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Your argument that everything is physically determined is actually contrary to what many quantum physicists say. They would say that the universe is actually fundamentally random, at the quantum level. Or, they would say that there's no evidence otherwise. There is of course the possibility of undetected machinations underneath, but there's no point in debating something about which there is no evidence. Of course, randomness would not provide free will, either. Then again, I don't understand exactly what people mean by "free will". And they don't either.

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Free will, the idea that we are free to do our own will.. Our decisions have not yet been made, and there is no fundamental reasoning for all our decisions.

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What you say is basically Newtonian physics. Everything can be explained and everything calculated. But quantum physics says exactly the opposite. Take for example schrödinger's cat. The cat is both dead and alive at the same time!

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I think your argument assumes that there is no interaction with anything. That we are lone wolves in the snowy mountains of the concrete future is not the case. Suppose I punch you in the head - there is a chemical reaction that takes place (you get a headache, sorry). Had I not been there you would not have had to take asprin (I hit hard :)). While one could argue that it was written in me chemically from my conception that I would hit you in the head ... the laws of life the universe and everything are too obscure for this sort of pre-destiny to occur ... I think it's far too unlikely.

Neat idea, though. You could write an interesting book out of it if you wanted to - people 'program' their babies to have certain careers from conception ... but the heroes of Daniweb come and save the day through the use of cunning algorithms, fast thinking and a determination that says "we don't give up".

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No its easy to control an environment. Take a pool table. A person could with a reasonable degree of accuracy could predict the movement of the balls. This of course is a simple system. The universe is much more complex. If we had computers that were more powerful, it would possible to calculate a small system. In fact simulation theory, the theory that we are most certainly a simulation, says just that. It is quite possible to simulate a system.

For example lets say I wanted to simulate the universe. All I would do to make it possible would be to leave out parts of unknown reality. So lets say I created a a couple thousand organisms on earth. It might be billions of years before they evolve into reasonably intelligent beings.(humans being a notable example, except for some obvious exceptions cough cough george bush cough) Therefore most of the world would not need to be simulated. The moon would not need to be created until people first saw it! In this way a post-species species (that is, transcended the physiology of there species) would be able to simulate everything with a reletively weak and cheap computer. Therefore it is easy to simulate the universe! (give us some time though)

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>> It might be billions of years before they evolve into reasonably intelligent beings.
That's assuming your system accepts evolution :)

No matter how you try to do it, your system will ALWAYS have shortcomings. Linearity is always nice, but nature has a nasty ol' habit of making everything so complicated and the linearity it sometimes exhibits only holds over certain ranges. In fact, it only holds over those discrete ranges "to a good engineering approximation", which is to say that it isn't linear at all but nearly linear. Which makes things hard to model, predict etc.

>> The moon would not need to be created until people first saw it!
I give them a month.

Unless you're being sarcastic, Strum, I'm going to have to completely disagree with you. The OP suggested a perfect representation of the future defined by reactions, forces and time. You put forward a vague representation of the earth without humans or the moon (I know I'm exaggerating, but that's the point). No matter how small the influence it still remains as such - an influence, therefore it's relivant.

We like linear. It's easy.

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Predicting movements of objects and decisions of conscious beings is very different. We have laws of physics that govern matter, and the balls will follow these laws. We know exactly where these balls will go when hit by the pool stick. However, the human brain is very complex, and we have no laws that govern what humans will think, say, and do. We have some fundamental rules that most follow (psychology). Most humans will act in a manner of self-interest, and survival. But, there is no way of actually determining what choice humans will choose. We have no algorithm or technology that can predict our future decisions, and I do not believe we will ever develop this technology b/c it is not possible.

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Well, I'm not saying that one day we will be able to predict these things. The predictions are only theoretical. But being as our brains, on a very small level, are composed of molecules. No one decides how those molecules react. They just do. Your decisions are only the products of what the laws of chemistry say will happen in the brain. It's obviously very complicated, but something to think about. The brain must be composed of inanimate particles at the much smaller level before the thought process can even take place. The thought process itself is just a series of reactions.

As for the randomness, I don't know a whole lot about quantum physics yet except that we don't know anything about where the electron is and it apparently doesn't matter (where as I tend to disagree with the "it doesn't matter part"). But isn't the position of the electron truly dependent on the forces acting on it? Is anything on this level truly random? Everything in this field of science has explanations, although no one can explain everything. It's like I said before. If you electrolyze (or however it's called) water, you always get oxygen and hydrogen...always, as long as there aren't any preventative forces (which could play a role in my idea anyway).

Here's an analogy: If you flip a coin there is a fifty percent chance it will land on heads. This is your free will. You don't know if it will land on heads. But is it really a fifty percent chance? Take into account the force exerted on the coin, the composition of the coin, the altitude and air composition (for air resistance) where it is caught, etc. etc. etc. to every little detail. All of these details may not be able to be documented by a scientist but it is documented in the universe, those details are there and they exist. So after it all, you flip the coin and it lands on heads. All along there was a fifty percent chance it would land on heads with the given factors. And that one hundred percents chance of the coin landing on heads represents the one hundred percent chance of the decision you will make.

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Currently I do not believe randomness exists. (this of course might change!) How can TRUE randomness exist? A role of a dice is controlled by physics, a random function in a language is usually seeded by time, a random number chosen by a person usually is the median of the extremes. Without true randomness everything, in theory, follows laws, unbreakable laws. If everything follows unbreakable laws, everything, in theory, can be calculated. A pool table is a simple system, the mind, much more complex. But as long as everything is a system, that is a logical system were everything follows laws, everything can be computed.

Lets make the following postulate: the population of a species is inversely related to the probability of them dying out. More units=a less of a chance of extinction. This of course has obvious flaws, the most notable being extinction from over population. But considering that all of the worlds population can fit in the state of Texas and live at a lower people per sq mile ratio than NY city, this is not likely (why is it that I have the compulsion to hit C-x C-s whenever I finish a sentence ;-). So we can safely say that if we reproduce at our current rate, we face a pretty good chance of not going extinct anytime in the near future. We can also say that with an increased population, the rate of innovation and technological advances increases at a faster rate. So assuming that we continue to follow moors law, the chances of us building a computer that can say, predict the movements of an ant colony or something, are actually quite high.

But an ant colony is only the beginning. I believe that in a short period of time (~1000 years) humans will be able to run quite accurate simulations of small, yet complex, systems. Chances are that we will run a simulation of the universe sometime (assuming that we are selfs are not just a simulation)

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I don't believe in randomness either.. As you said, even computer programs that generate random numbers operate under a specific algorithm.

Perhaps some day we will be able to accurately predict human decisions and create simulations of the human decision-making ability. I doubt it though.. I don't see how a computer program would ever be able to factor in every single variable.. If it is possible, this technology is far off..

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Here's an analogy: If you flip a coin there is a fifty percent chance it will land on heads. This is your free will. You don't know if it will land on heads. But is it really a fifty percent chance? Take into account the force exerted on the coin, the composition of the coin, the altitude and air composition (for air resistance) where it is caught, etc. etc. etc. to every little detail. All of these details may not be able to be documented by a scientist but it is documented in the universe, those details are there and they exist. So after it all, you flip the coin and it lands on heads. All along there was a fifty percent chance it would land on heads with the given factors. And that one hundred percents chance of the coin landing on heads represents the one hundred percent chance of the decision you will make.

Actually, from most coins it's around 45%ish; the head side is usually a bit heavier than the tails side, and gravity does play a role in the interaction.


@Sturm and @JoshSCH:
Check out the site Random.org. Their claim is to draw something truly random out of radio frequency background noise, if I recall correctly. I know it's something like that. At what point is the difference between Chaos and Randomness defined?

(Background level radiation, aka 'static', is a fairly good example of a chaotic system from what I recall.)


As to the point of the original argument, I would hold that it is incomplete. We're assuming a perfectly closed system, one in which no intervention from outside is possible. Are you certain that's an accurate description of things?

And if every single event is in fact physically and chemically predestined, then shouldn't we abolish all laws? Those predestined to follow them would do so even without them, while those who are predestined to break them should not be held accountable because they had no choice; they had to do it.

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Actually, from most coins it's around 45%ish; the head side is usually a bit heavier than the tails side, and gravity does play a role in the interaction.


@Sturm and @JoshSCH:
Check out the site Random.org. Their claim is to draw something truly random out of radio frequency background noise, if I recall correctly. I know it's something like that. At what point is the difference between Chaos and Randomness defined?

(Background level radiation, aka 'static', is a fairly good example of a chaotic system from what I recall.)


As to the point of the original argument, I would hold that it is incomplete. We're assuming a perfectly closed system, one in which no intervention from outside is possible. Are you certain that's an accurate description of things?

And if every single event is in fact physically and chemically predestined, then shouldn't we abolish all laws? Those predestined to follow them would do so even without them, while those who are predestined to break them should not be held accountable because they had no choice; they had to do it.

...which is a huge flaw in predestination.. You have no free will, so how can you be held accountable for anything? If there was a god, why would there be predestination? God would be punishing people for what they are meant to do.. Why should some of us burn in hell and others live forever in eternal peace? God would be judging us on our destinies that were set before the beginning of time... There are just too many flaws with predestination and the existence of a god..

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but predestination is exactly what the world is. As far as I know, everything takes place in this universe. Therefore the universe is a closed system. You can predict anything in a closed system.

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Schroedinger's cat is actually not dead and alive at the same time.
You cannot know whether the cat is dead or alive without killing the cat at which point you know it's dead.
That's the paradox (if it is one), that observation always influences that what's being observed.

Similarly if you start spying on people you influence their behaviour. If you insert a probe into a pan of boiling water you influence the currents in that pan as well as the temperature of the water (as the probe will have a different temperature from the water) and therefore influence the results of your test.

The same holds true anywhere. Were behaviour as predictable as OP suggests society would collapse. Noone would do anything at all, after all what use is it if everything is predetermined to happen anyway?

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It isn't incomplete. Every aspect of the entire universe is included making it a closed system that isn't closed off from anything.

As for the 45% it's very irrelevent. The point is, after every detail is factored in, there is a 100% chance of it landing on heads (or a one hundred percent chance of it landing on tails depending on the details given).

As for the abondonment of laws, that isn't a good idea. If we were to abondon laws then that would factor into the chemical and physical properties in peoples minds and they would act differently. Your abondonment of laws plays into the system, not as an interference, but as another component. This doesn't mean I don't have free will. If I want to turn a light switch on I will. But there are reasons for it. Maybe it was dark, maybe I was curious as to what it did. These things trigger chemical reactions in my brain eventually leading up to the decision to flip the switch. If laws were abolished, that would register too and I would then not feel the need to restrict myself. Nothing is an interference. Anything that happens is a component as well.

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It isn't incomplete. Every aspect of the entire universe is included making it a closed system that isn't closed off from anything.

Well, we aren't exactly sure of that. It is possible that there are other universes out there.. or something that acts on our universe.. perhaps something that does not follow the same physical laws that our universe does.

As for the 45% it's very irrelevent. The point is, after every detail is factored in, there is a 100% chance of it landing on heads (or a one hundred percent chance of it landing on tails depending on the details given).

huh, did I miss something here? How is there a 100% chance of a coin landing on heads.. And I think the odds are much closer to 50%, even with the center of mass, gravity, and all those other variables factored in.

As for the abondonment of laws, that isn't a good idea. If we were to abondon laws then that would factor into the chemical and physical properties in peoples minds and they would act differently. Your abondonment of laws plays into the system, not as an interference, but as another component. This doesn't mean I don't have free will. If I want to turn a light switch on I will. But there are reasons for it. Maybe it was dark, maybe I was curious as to what it did. These things trigger chemical reactions in my brain eventually leading up to the decision to flip the switch. If laws were abolished, that would register too and I would then not feel the need to restrict myself. Nothing is an interference. Anything that happens is a component as well.

If there is predestination then it doesn't really matter if we abandon laws or not. If there is predestination, then there is nothing that we can personally do to change our or any1 else's future. We are already destined to make the choices that we have. In fact, we really have no choices.. choices would only be an illusion. We would see the problem in front of us, and debate which decision to go with.. but in the end it doesn't matter b/c we are already destined to choose what we will choose. It's very weird to think about it.. sorta complex... for example, we could say, "NO! I refuse to follow my destiny.." And kill ourselves or something.. but then again, that would have been our destiny. In the end, it doesn't matter what we do b/c we have already done it. Our future is set before us.. we have no choices.. we have no free will.. we are simply living the life that we are supposed to.

I don't really believe in a 'destiny'. I think our future is whatever we make of it. I believe in free will, and I think the human mind is far too complex to accurately predict anything..

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As for the abondonment of laws, that isn't a good idea. If we were to abondon laws then that would factor into the chemical and physical properties in peoples minds and they would act differently. Your abondonment of laws plays into the system, not as an interference, but as another component. This doesn't mean I don't have free will. If I want to turn a light switch on I will. But there are reasons for it. Maybe it was dark, maybe I was curious as to what it did. These things trigger chemical reactions in my brain eventually leading up to the decision to flip the switch. If laws were abolished, that would register too and I would then not feel the need to restrict myself. Nothing is an interference. Anything that happens is a component as well.

Laws are neither physical nor chemical. In order for them to interfere, you would have to allow for the option of a non-material structure (the idea of a law, in this case) to interfere with the physical and chemical structures in your brain.

And if you make decisions on your own, rather than having the physical/chemical mix force them on you, then you've again proven that something outside the phys/chem mix (your own free will) can override the original reaction sequence. Otherwise, you wouldn't have made the choice; in a rather warped way, it could be said to have made you instead.

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Your own free wil IS the physical/chemical mix. Any decision you make is just a series of reactions taking place in your brain. Laws are something conceived by man, in man's brain, which was done by decision making; a chemical/physical process in the brain. Again, nothing ever "interferes" in my idea. It's all a component. There is no possible interference. Predestination isn't contrary to free will. It's just that your free will is decided based on these nonliving reactions that take place. When I say nonliving, I mean because on the atomics and molecular levels, these are truly nonliving reactions, that is how it appears to me anyway. A ribosome can read mRNA and also go back to fix mistakes as if it had a mind of its own but it doesn't, it goes back to fix those mistakes because of chemical and physical reactions. Now if you zoom out a little bit there we are, products of those reactions. Not that we have no free will but that the definition of our "free will" is a series of these reactions. We can make decisions, but it's really those reactions that have forced those decisions to be made...not against our own free will, but it composes what we call "free will".

Having said this, if chemical/physical reactions were to (hypothetically) go off in some people's minds and laws were abolished, then it would affect the chemical/physical reactions in others' minds causing them to break the law. One may be destined to break the law but only because the law was abolished. So laws are still necessary. But we have to think, no one would abolish law because of the consequences that they know will happen. And so those consequences are registered in the brain and law remains.

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Schroedinger's cat is actually not dead and alive at the same time.
You cannot know whether the cat is dead or alive without killing the cat at which point you know it's dead.
That's the paradox (if it is one), that observation always influences that what's being observed.

um...actually it is. Take for example the double slit experiment. One photon goes through two holes. Its existing at two places at one, two states at once. But once the photon is measured, one photon instantly is destroyed. In this way, we can say that because we have not measured the photon, it exists in two states simultaneously. Schroedinger's cat, by the same token, is both alive and dead at the same time. But once it is measured, one state instantly gets destroyed.

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The way it was explained to me (vaguely) was that the cat was either dead or alive, it couldn't be both. It had to be one or the other with no inbetween.

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.. sounds confusing to me.. I've only really studied relativity and Newtonian physics.. never any quantom physics.

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...which is a huge flaw in predestination.. You have no free will, so how can you be held accountable for anything? If there was a god, why would there be predestination? God would be punishing people for what they are meant to do.. Why should some of us burn in hell and others live forever in eternal peace? God would be judging us on our destinies that were set before the beginning of time... There are just too many flaws with predestination and the existence of a god..

??
Everyone has free will. You choose what you want do to every day, right?

People "burn in hell" because they simply choose to take that path. (I'm not talking about people who've never heard of God...) For example, if you hear that there's going to be a party tomorrow night with people drinking and driving, and you choose to do the same, you may very well die. I know it's sort of a random analogy, but I couldn't think of anything else.

Like I've said in the other threads, it's the choices that you make that determines your destiny although God knows ultimately what you'll choose. There aren't any flaws with that thought. God is omniscient and we have free will.

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??
Everyone has free will. You choose what you want do to every day, right?

People "burn in hell" because they simply choose to take that path. (I'm not talking about people who've never heard of God...) For example, if you hear that there's going to be a party tomorrow night with people drinking and driving, and you choose to do the same, you may very well die. I know it's sort of a random analogy, but I couldn't think of anything else.

haha.. you stole my analogy..

Like I've said in the other threads, it's the choices that you make that determines your destiny although God knows ultimately what you'll choose. There aren't any flaws with that thought. God is omniscient and we have free will.

Okay, I guess I am explaining this inadequately.. omniscience and free will are opposites, and do NOT go together!

..look at it this way.. (Back to the drinking and driving) You have a choice, correct. You can choose to drink and drive, or you can choose not to. HOWEVER, IF god already knows what you are going to choose, than that is NOT free will. Look, If someone knows what you will do, then you are not choosing freely. You are choosing b/c it is your destiny. Choice is an ILLUSION within a predestination system. It appears that you have a choice, but in reality, you don't have a choice.. How can it be a choice if God already knows what you will choose? You truly only have one choice every time you make a decision. Your destined choice. Do you understand now? PLEASE think about this before responding.. free will and omniscience do NOT go together..

And you can see the flaw in this if you are Christian. If you are destined to burn in hell, then there is NOTHING that you can do to change it! You will burn in hell, and God knows it from the day that you are born.. That doesn't seem far to me..

Can anyone else back me up here?

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haha.. you stole my analogy..

Earlier in this thread?

Okay, I guess I am explaining that inadequately.. omniscience and free will are opposites, and do NOT go together!

..look at it this way.. (Back to the drinking and driving) You have a choice, correct. You can choose to drink and drive, or you can choose not to. HOWEVER, IF god already knows what you are going to choose, than that is NOT free will. Look, If someone knows what you will do, then you are not choosing freely. You are choosing b/c it is your destiny. Choice is an ILLUSION within a predestination system. It appears that you have a choice, but in reality, you don't have a choice.. How can it be a choice if God already knows what you will choose? You truly only have one choice every time you make a decision. Your destined choice. Do you understand know? PLEASE think about this before responding.. free will and omniscience do NOT go together..

And you can see the flaw in this if you are Christian. If you are destined to burn in hell, then there is NOTHING that you can do to change it! You will burn in hell, and God knows it from the day that you are born.. That doesn't seem far to me..

Well honestly, I think you are thinking way too deep into this. It's simple.
Truth: God knows what will become of you from the day you are born. BUT, God doesn't make you choose, so therefore you do have free will. He gave you free will, He could have easily made everyone in the world serve Him for the rest of their lives, and you wouldn't have a choice. -That's what predestination truly is. Why does it matter whether or not God knows your future? It's in your hands, isn't it?? It's not like you are the omniscient one, it isn't like you were programmed to choose a certain way for every decision you make for the rest of your life.

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@JoshSCH:
A quick analogy I heard to that at one point:
You're watching a football game on television. At the end of the game, one team has won the contest. Your watching the game does not make that team win, does it?


It's similar with God. He is eternal, and omniscient. The two play into each other; He exists beyond the range of time, and can see all of time at once. Just because he sees what happens at some point X in the future, does not mean that he caused the events at point X, any more than your watching the game forced one team to win and the other to lose.

That explanation make any sense?

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We are all destined for something. Nothing is random. Free will does not exist, only the illusion of it (still thats good enough for me ;-)

People "burn in hell" because they simply choose to take that path. (I'm not talking about people who've never heard of God...)

Do you actually think I am going to hell because I am an atheist?

I contend that you and I are both atheists. When you understand why you dismiss all other gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.

ONLY SHEEP NEED SHEPHERDS.

The way it was explained to me (vaguely) was that the cat was either dead or alive, it couldn't be both. It had to be one or the other with no in between.

That cat is existing in multiple states simultaneous. Lets go back to the double slit experiment. One photon goes through two slits. This, is Newtonian physics, is completely impossible and at first scientists thought they did the experiment wrong. But every time the double slit experiment is executed, there are always the same results. This means that we have proven that the photon actually simultaneously exists at multiple places at once. The photon, at the exact same time, exists at two places. By the same token, the cat simultaneously is dead and alive.

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We are all destined for something. Nothing is random. Free will does not exist, only the illusion of it (still thats good enough for me ;-)

Do you actually think I am going to hell because I am an atheist?

I contend that you and I are both atheists. When you understand why you dismiss all other gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.

ONLY SHEEP NEED SHEPHERDS.

If free will does not exist, then you cannot posess it. If you do not posess free will, then I submit that your life is pointless.

Yes. If you are an atheist, then you will go to hell, and from there to the lake of fire. There is only one escape from that fate, and that is through the salvation offered by Jesus Christ. Without that, you have no hope.

An atheist is one who believes in no god. ('A', without; 'theos', god or deity.) I do not know for Christina>you, as I do not know her other than by this board, but for myself, I am not an atheist; I believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

I do not believe in other deities because they are false; by your statement, you claim that my Lord is false as well. To me, all that states is that you refuse to test his word, and I sorrow for you over that.

Yes, sheep need shepards. I presume that, from the emphasis you placed on that, you would consider yourself to be a goat instead.

I will be praying for you, Sturm.

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EnderX, I commend you for your faith in Jesus.
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