Quantum mechanics, free will & the Game of Life (John Horgon)

#41
Secular Sanity Offline
(Feb 21, 2021 01:26 AM)C C Wrote: A robot needs a good degree of autonomy from humans. The ability to program itself slash develop its own goals and interests, to exhibit creative interaction with the environment and decision-making that exceeds installed routines. It probably needs limited rights, too, so that it can receive its own blame for _X_ act rather than the responsibility shifting to floor managers, programmers/designers, whatever spit out a machine-learning algorithm it uses at times, etc.

Consciousness wise, I suppose it could still be a p-zombie, having awareness in terms of inner processes and outer behavior that remain invisible to itself or never correlate to manifested representations and sensations.


I asked this question in another thread.

(Oct 13, 2020 03:37 PM)Secular Sanity Wrote: How about a fly?

There’s this neurobiologist, Bjoern Brembs, that has done some interesting work.

Bjoern Brembs said that choices actually fit a complex probability but, at least in humans, are perceived as conscious decisions. He said that he wouldn’t expect fruit files or worms to contemplate their options and that this is something that is clearly more "built in" than it is with us. But then he would also say that most of the decisions we're making are also built in.

Yazata thought that even a fly would have free will, but it looks like Syne doesn’t even think that animals have free will.

Your skepticism lies in linguistic philosophy—word play, where free will becomes MC Hammer’s "You can't touch this," correct?

So, are you defining free will as having options and introspection?

Yazata’s skepticism regarding determinism seems to lie in areas involving quantum mechanics and Bell’s Theorem. 

Yazata Wrote:It isn't necessarily a problem of what is known, though it might be for physicists trying to predict things. It's more a problem of what is knowable in principle. What is reality like? Is reality really absolutely precise like an infinitely high-def photographic image? Or is reality kind of fuzzy and indistinct when examined too close? In other words, do Sabine's physical variables really have infinitely precise values? (Even though there might always be limitations on the accuracy of a physicist's measurements.)

My skepticism primarily arises regarding the idea that the state of the universe (or some relevant part of it) at time A entirely determines the state of the universe (or some relevant part of it) at temporally distant time B. Pushed to its extreme, we arrive at the idea that the underlying dynamical equations, combined with the initial state of the universe at the Big Bang, precisely determined everything that will ever happen in that universe at any future point in time.

But…
Quote:Bell himself summarized one of the possible ways to address the theorem, superdeterminism, in a 1985 BBC Radio interview:

There is a way to escape the inference of superluminal speeds and spooky action at a distance. But it involves absolute determinism in the universe, the complete absence of free will. Suppose the world is super-deterministic, with not just inanimate nature running on behind-the-scenes clockwork, but with our behavior, including our belief that we are free to choose to do one experiment rather than another, absolutely predetermined, including the 'decision' by the experimenter to carry out one set of measurements rather than another, the difficulty disappears. There is no need for a faster-than-light signal to tell particle A what measurement has been carried out on particle B, because the universe, including particle A, already 'knows' what that measurement, and its outcome, will be.source

So, do we give up locality, realism, or freedom of choice?

Syne’s skepticism seems to lie in areas involving human exceptionalism. A type of dualism where consciousness is an emergent property of the brain. A fuzzy line between self-awareness and introspection, perhaps?

If it’s true that the brain evolved, not to think or feel, but to control movement, wouldn’t that imply that most of what we call introspection is just the ability to predict the consequences of our movement (actions)?
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#42
Syne Offline
(Feb 21, 2021 06:06 PM)Secular Sanity Wrote: Yazata thought that even a fly would have free will, but it looks like Syne doesn’t even think that animals have free will.

Animals have instinct unalloyed by reason. If you see instinctual reaction as genuine agency, you are redefining free will to essentially explain it away. If you think no agency is any more efficacious than instinct, you just don't believe free will exists. Of the two, I'd say the latter at least isn't playing word games. But both are dismissive without much argument of merit. The former fails to explain the objective differences between humans and animals, other than by a vague, arm-wavy "difference of complexity", that doesn't explain the huge gap in complexity. The latter just blithely fails to address it at all...in a more dogmatic fashion.

Quote:So, do we give up locality, realism, or freedom of choice?

Syne’s skepticism seems to lie in areas involving human exceptionalism. A type of dualism where consciousness is an emergent property of the brain. A fuzzy line between self-awareness and introspection, perhaps?

If it’s true that the brain evolved, not to think or feel, but to control movement, wouldn’t that imply that most of what we call introspection is just the ability to predict the consequences of our movement (actions)?

But if the world is truly determinant, why would there be any need to predict anything at all? If any choices are only illusory, they can have no impact as it could not have been otherwise. So whether you can predict or not, you're already determined to do one thing, long before you were even aware that the illusory choice existed. Talking nonsense about what "the universe already 'knows'" presupposes either a block universe (making unsupported metaphysical presumptions) or reverse causation (unsupported by evidence). That's a lot of scientifically unjustified woo to support a disbelief in free will.

Whereas genuine free will requires a largely deterministic universe for choices to have any significance. It is also more parsimonious by not requiring unsupported postulates like a eternalism or physics defying reversals of something as fundamental as causation. Belief in free will doesn't require any word games, avoidance, or mental gymnastics.
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#43
Secular Sanity Offline
(Feb 21, 2021 07:27 PM)Syne Wrote: Animals have instinct unalloyed by reason.

Some humans do, too.

Syne Wrote:But if the world is truly determinant, why would there be any need to predict anything at all?

Even flies make predictions.
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#44
C C Offline
(Feb 21, 2021 06:06 PM)Secular Sanity Wrote: [...] So, are you defining free will as having options and introspection?


Options may be there for deciding about or reacting to _X_ circumstance, but I'm going to select a particular one according to my preferences or nature (in that context at the time). If I were to select a different one than I did then that's not me because that individual accordingly would have a different physiological and psychological configuration when they encounter _X_ (a similar twin at best). IOW, I don't want to be hacked by randomness or be replaced by an alternate version -- I want THIS particular identity and THIS particular body outputting what it wants or leads to, even if predictable or simulatable by a god computer.

Decision-making is a private process, so unless an individual is uttering their thoughts aloud "introspection" will presumably be transpiring. Often it may be habit intervening without an internal narrative hashing out the why and what of engaging in an action.

Quote:Yazata’s skepticism regarding determinism seems to lie in areas involving quantum mechanics and Bell’s Theorem.  [...]


Compatibilism and "indifference about metaphysics" (as far as FW goes) lead me to feel that determinism and indeterminism are superfluous (elaborated on at bottom). I may tinker with such considerations in the beginning because when in Rome... you usually can't get around having to dabble in the local perspectives and genuflecting to the customs in a preliminary communications sense.

Minus slight revisions, my original reply is still below. I've been so busy/distracted/interrupted lately that I belatedly realized that I could have responded more directly and succinctly with respect to the above.

Quote:[...] Your skepticism lies in linguistic philosophy—word play, where free will becomes MC Hammer’s "You can't touch this," correct?

I have to go through this for three paragraphs before swinging back to word-games...

I want to shift FW from metaphysical wrangling to the everyday or empirical situation of the brain/body being responsible for outputting its decisions according to its current identity tendencies (autonomy versus heteronomy). Another rational or quasi-rational agent can force one to make a choice that it is not one's own, but even in those contingent situations a person is usually evaluating the consequences and deciding to do what the coercer demands (i.e., there's a kind of voluntary selecting to not receive the undesired consequences).

Since the past history of the Earth is necessary to output a human being in the first place, and local factors assign a starting personal identity, then those origins and settings caused by the antecedent states of the "background" are hardly something to reject. I wouldn't exist if the first didn't apply, and I would be a psychologically different person with respect to the second being altered.

Once I'm born and officially operating at some point my body is producing its own choices (becomes responsible), not the non-intelligent and non-deliberating background environment. It would be a fail as a manipulating puppet master, sans the society of other humans. Thus, the latter ("other rational or semi-rational agents and their organizations") is the item of concern when it comes to unhindered volition. Freedom to exercise one's private choice is not contended to be constantly applicable.

If the cages that philosophical word-games build have to be addressed (their "proof" consists only of demonstrating that they are internally consistent with themselves like a mathematical proposal, not that they are ontologically real or scientifically testable), then what I'm talking here is compatibilism when it comes metaphysical claims like determinism, or any belief that FW is dependent upon indeterminism slash randomness. Not because absolute determinism is an existential truth, but if it was the case, then "so what?". (Again, why construe FW in ways that make it vulnerable to this multitude of concocted thought orientations? Make it compatible with _X_ or unaffected by it.)

For instance, I'm unable to grasp why randomness is a necessity for a human making decisions in accordance with who it is. If randomness stems from outside the body then it is another intruder, hijacking or disrupting autonomy as much an external governed force or a pattern-following sequence of events would. If randomness is a regular resident of the body, then it arguably is an aspect of one's identity like the systematic processes and routines.

Regardless, randomness doesn't seem to be necessary for FW, though it could be a contingent supplement, like some pet dogs being able to walk on their hind legs for lengthy periods.
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#45
Syne Offline
As usual, the girl who wants open-minded discussion cherry picking what she wants to discuss. 9_9

(Feb 21, 2021 08:36 PM)Secular Sanity Wrote:
(Feb 21, 2021 07:27 PM)Syne Wrote: Animals have instinct unalloyed by reason.

Some humans do, too.

Really? There are humans who have zero reason? Even the mentally retarded have some capacity to reason. It's just a capacity of a young child rather than an age-appropriate capacity.

Quote:
Syne Wrote:But if the world is truly determinant, why would there be any need to predict anything at all?

Even flies make predictions.

That doesn't answer my question, nor do you justify it. The seemingly predictive instinctual reactions are not the premeditated nor contemplated sort of actual prediction. Instinct just tells a fly to avoid anything that gets close enough to be a potential threat. No real prediction involved at all. Just stimulus response.
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#46
stryder Offline
In theory if you were to build a Universe (Determinism), the ultimate goal would be to create "Freedom". To break the bonds and shackles of the limitations of a universes laws or bounds by pushing beyond those parameters with the intension for the universe to "self-stylise" freely. (Chaos)

Some would say though it's "Putting the cart before the horse" considering that a majority of the worlds theorists consider that the universe was birthed in chaos with pockets of orderly resistance, not the otherway around.
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#47
Ostronomos Offline
(Feb 21, 2021 06:06 PM)Secular Sanity Wrote:
(Oct 13, 2020 03:37 PM)Secular Sanity Wrote: How about a fly?

There’s this neurobiologist, Bjoern Brembs, that has done some interesting work.

Bjoern Brembs said that choices actually fit a complex probability but, at least in humans, are perceived as conscious decisions. He said that he wouldn’t expect fruit files or worms to contemplate their options and that this is something that is clearly more "built in" than it is with us. But then he would also say that most of the decisions we're making are also built in.

Yazata thought that even a fly would have free will, but it looks like Syne doesn’t even think that animals have free will.

Your skepticism lies in linguistic philosophy—word play, where free will becomes MC Hammer’s "You can't touch this," correct?

So, are you defining free will as having options and introspection?

Yazata’s skepticism regarding determinism seems to lie in areas involving quantum mechanics and Bell’s Theorem. 

Syne fails to make a convincing argument about the possibility of free will. He is arguing from the position of fallacy. Complex probability certainly plays a role in the choices that appear to us at any given time.  We are locked in a deterministic causal loop between internal and external realities. The only thing syne is doing is wishful thinking as that is the very foundation of his argument. 

Free will exists in the human psyche as a romantic dream. It is tied to our subconscious desire to be more than what we are. Hopefully syne can awaken to the bright light of my genius and dispense with his foolish rhetoric.
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#48
Syne Offline
(Feb 22, 2021 05:11 PM)Ostronomos Wrote: Syne fails to make a convincing argument about the possibility of free will. He is arguing from the position of fallacy.
But you can't manage to name the specific fallacy.
Quote:Complex probability certainly plays a role in the choices that appear to us at any given time.  We are locked in a deterministic causal loop between internal and external realities. The only thing syne is doing is wishful thinking as that is the very foundation of his argument. 
Except you have yet to refute any of my arguments, and here are only making a bare assertion (you know, a fallacy).
Quote:Free will exists in the human psyche as a romantic dream. It is tied to our subconscious desire to be more than what we are. Hopefully syne can awaken to the bright light of my genius and dispense with his foolish rhetoric.
Ah, more of your delusions. How can you take any credit for genius if you have no free will or input into it? Big contradiction there, but you're too high to notice the inconsistency.
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