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Predetermined Fate without God
09-01-2013, 06:55 AM
Post: #1
Predetermined Fate without God
Many religions say that their deity predetermined our fates from the beginning and those of us who don't believe in deities obviously think "nuh uh." But I think that there is a middle ground where a sort of predetermined fate can exist without god. I mean, everything happens by cause and effect. But alot say one cause could have just as easily have many outcomes. Is it true though? Take this thread for example. Given who i am, how I think, and all that isn't it inevitable I came to this conclusion and posted it? And likewise given how you all think, isn't your response and to what degree you will and have already considered this already determined?

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09-01-2013, 07:09 AM
Post: #2
RE: Predetermined Fate without God
Usually quantum provides some opportunity for multiple outcomes, as well as for some theories of how consciousness arises, so I think that is one scientific way you could maybe account for authentic free will.

"To yield and give way to our passions is the lowest slavery, even as to rule over them is the only liberty." -Justin Martyr
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09-01-2013, 08:05 AM (This post was last modified: 09-01-2013 08:07 AM by Achrelos.)
Post: #3
RE: Predetermined Fate without God
Do you mean multiple outcomes at one time? Even if multiple outcomes occur isn't it sort of determined by the properties that those multiple outcomes occur?
And I'm not saying we don't have free will. Just that circumstances greatly impact that will, to the point of apparent predetermination.

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09-01-2013, 08:59 AM
Post: #4
RE: Predetermined Fate without God
(09-01-2013 08:05 AM)Achrelos Wrote:  Do you mean multiple outcomes at one time? Even if multiple outcomes occur isn't it sort of determined by the properties that those multiple outcomes occur?
And I'm not saying we don't have free will. Just that circumstances greatly impact that will, to the point of apparent predetermination.


There is a difference between causality and determinism. QM is casual, but it is not deterministic (caveat: if many-worlds or something else of the like is true then it's deterministic over the set of multiverses, but that is not the kind of determinism relevant to discussions regarding free will). Think of QM like a true abstract random dice where the event of which side comes up is caused by the event of rolling it, but is not determinable from the roll.


That said, I see no resolution for free will if there is a willful, omnipotent, and omniscient creator of all of us. Being omnipotent, he could have made us in any such way and being omniscient he would know the outcomes (if the universe is non-determinisitc from our perspective, this means being omniscient would entail the ability to peek ahead as it were). Ergo, he chose for us to exist the way we do and act the way we do/have, thereby making our choices really just an extension of his choices and violating our free will.
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09-01-2013, 12:58 PM (This post was last modified: 09-01-2013 12:58 PM by shiverleaf15.)
Post: #5
RE: Predetermined Fate without God
legend Wrote:That said, I see no resolution for free will if there is a willful, omnipotent, and omniscient creator of all of us. Being omnipotent, he could have made us in any such way and being omniscient he would know the outcomes (if the universe is non-determinisitc from our perspective, this means being omniscient would entail the ability to peek ahead as it were). Ergo, he chose for us to exist the way we do and act the way we do/have, thereby making our choices really just an extension of his choices and violating our free will.

Have you heard of Molinism? It maintains that God created us, yes, and knows the future, yes, but free will is maintained in humans, such that different decisions bring up different results, and sure God knows all the possibilities too, but we maintain independence because we could potentially use free will to do something versus something else. He knows the outcome of both possibilities and any other possibility, but our choices aren't predestined.

"To yield and give way to our passions is the lowest slavery, even as to rule over them is the only liberty." -Justin Martyr
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09-01-2013, 05:54 PM
Post: #6
RE: Predetermined Fate without God
(09-01-2013 08:59 AM)legend Wrote:  Think of QM like a true abstract random dice where the event of which side comes up is caused by the event of rolling it, but is not determinable from the roll.

I don't think that's right .. it only appears random .. it isn't really

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09-01-2013, 10:17 PM (This post was last modified: 09-01-2013 10:19 PM by legend.)
Post: #7
RE: Predetermined Fate without God
(09-01-2013 12:58 PM)shiverleaf15 Wrote:  Have you heard of Molinism? It maintains that God created us, yes, and knows the future, yes, but free will is maintained in humans, such that different decisions bring up different results, and sure God knows all the possibilities too, but we maintain independence because we could potentially use free will to do something versus something else. He knows the outcome of both possibilities and any other possibility, but our choices aren't predestined.

I'm not familiar with it, no. Can you elaborate on how they see it maintaining free will? If God were just some omniscient bystander I think free will would remain intact for those reasons—that is, I do not think determinism of any sort is a problem for free will—but the fact that God also created us is sticking point. That is, creating us with knowledge of what we will do means our actions are an extension of God's will and while there are a number of different semantic thoughts on what it means to have free will, your choices being chosen by another being seems a pretty universal violation to me.



(09-01-2013 05:54 PM)muhammad_isa Wrote:  I don't think that's right .. it only appears random .. it isn't really


No, it's not just that it appears random; QM is fundamentally weird Tongue There are interpretations of QM in which it can be claimed deterministic in sense if they are true, such as the many worlds interpretation, but not in the way relevant to this discussion. For example, in many worlds, there is a universe for each possible outcome, which on a multiverse scale is deterministic, but it's still indeterminable from any observer within a universe.

See more here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_indeterminacy

In particular note this section:
wikipedia Wrote:Quantum indeterminacy can be quantitatively characterized by a probability distribution on the set of outcomes of measurements of an observable. The distribution is uniquely determined by the system state, and moreover quantum mechanics provides a recipe for calculating this probability distribution.
Indeterminacy in measurement was not an innovation of quantum mechanics, since it had been established early on by experimentalists that errors in measurement may lead to indeterminate outcomes. However, by the later half of the eighteenth century, measurement errors were well understood and it was known that they could either be reduced by better equipment or accounted for by statistical error models. In quantum mechanics, however, indeterminacy is of a much more fundamental nature, having nothing to do with errors or disturbance.

Also, this is a kids video but it's pretty good all the same at expressing quantum weirdness!



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09-01-2013, 10:47 PM (This post was last modified: 09-01-2013 10:48 PM by shiverleaf15.)
Post: #8
RE: Predetermined Fate without God
legend Wrote:I'm not familiar with it, no. Can you elaborate on how they see it maintaining free will? If God were just some omniscient bystander I think free will would remain intact for those reasons—that is, I do not think determinism of any sort is a problem for free will—but the fact that God also created us is sticking point. That is, creating us with knowledge of what we will do means our actions are an extension of God's will and while there are a number of different semantic thoughts on what it means to have free will, your choices being chosen by another being seems a pretty universal violation to me.

I think what I said previously pretty much sums up Molinism, of course it's technically a Catholic theory but I find it applicable to my LDS view for example. As for the creator thing, I think of it the following way: God created us (and gave us free will) such that we would have potential to be perfect in righteousness in the end, as well as wicked and destined to doom out of personal desire and choice. So we are more responsible for our ultimate fate than our surrounding environment which we could say would make it "God's fault" we turn up a certain way. The question that arises then might be "But then can't one person's choices impact another person's directly and indirectly? Is the second person to blame if, for example, he was raised and trained by Adolf Hitler to be a wicked human being?" And this is where, at least in my case, does an additional parameter come into play, which is the one where we are judged not so much by what we did, but what we would have done anyway, had all human beings been given perfect and equivalent environments. So knowledge and ignorance play a role, and ultimate intentions, etc, in how God ends up judging people in the end.

"To yield and give way to our passions is the lowest slavery, even as to rule over them is the only liberty." -Justin Martyr
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09-02-2013, 08:07 AM (This post was last modified: 09-02-2013 08:08 AM by legend.)
Post: #9
RE: Predetermined Fate without God
(09-01-2013 10:47 PM)shiverleaf15 Wrote:  I think what I said previously pretty much sums up Molinism, of course it's technically a Catholic theory but I find it applicable to my LDS view for example. As for the creator thing, I think of it the following way: God created us (and gave us free will) such that we would have potential to be perfect in righteousness in the end, as well as wicked and destined to doom out of personal desire and choice. So we are more responsible for our ultimate fate than our surrounding environment which we could say would make it "God's fault" we turn up a certain way. The question that arises then might be "But then can't one person's choices impact another person's directly and indirectly? Is the second person to blame if, for example, he was raised and trained by Adolf Hitler to be a wicked human being?" And this is where, at least in my case, does an additional parameter come into play, which is the one where we are judged not so much by what we did, but what we would have done anyway, had all human beings been given perfect and equivalent environments. So knowledge and ignorance play a role, and ultimate intentions, etc, in how God ends up judging people in the end.


I don't think the state of affairs of other people or hypothetical state of affairs is relevant to my issue with it. When God creates you and everything and has knowledge of what you will do (and the power to make you act any way), he has chosen how you will choose. That he might know you'd do differently in another state of affairs still doesn't change matters because he's still the one who chose how you react to any state of affairs (as well as the state of affairs). You simply cannot separate how you choose to act—in any state of affairs or history of state of affairs—from what God has chosen; therefore, all your choices are an extension of God's will and you do not have free will.


To give an analogy, imagine I've created a simple robot whose decision making algorithms operate in such a way that I know exactly how it will respond in every situation (and we can further extend it to me knowing every possible situation it will encounter, which can be trivially achieved if it's a virtual robot in a virtual world) and that I knew this when I created the robot. All of the robot's choices can be traced back to my choices about how it should behave and such a robot would not have free will from my choices. It could only have free will from my choices if I did not know how it would respond in every situation (because then I would not have chosen what its choices would be) or if I didn't create it of course.
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09-02-2013, 08:52 AM
Post: #10
RE: Predetermined Fate without God
So in a shorter dumbed down way, to see if I understand it, you are saying your robots wouldnt really have free will because you created them with a limited capacity and limited possibilities?

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