Determinism vs Indeterminism

 
ImSeriously
 
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ImSeriously
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28 February 2020 13:13
 

This is the ultimate case for what I’d call “Pure Determinism”:
All of the complexity of the current moment - the placement of every grain of sand on the beach - could be (at least in principle) mathematically determined when the universe was the size of a soccer ball. So as soon as the Bang happens, you freeze time, and look at the tiny explosion of matter and energy. With a complete understanding of all matter, space, energy, and forces present at that moment - you could know every ensuing state of the universe for all time. Again, only in principle, never in practice.

Classical mechanics gives us every reason to understand the universe as mathematically determined, but quantum randomness seems to break that. I put this in Philosophy rather than Science, so we needn’t go into the depths of QM here. Let’s just say that the measurable action of a particle, cannot be known until the action occurs. Randomness is really used as a linguistic placeholder for “no one is going to do the math”, but in the case of quantum particles, it may be that even in principle, there is no math to be done. Does a truly random quantum event necessarily replace the idea of Determinism with one of Indeterminism?

Now it’s true that group activity, or large systems of quantum particles, can still be measured with extreme deterministic accuracy, but that only comes after each individual particle has made what appears to be an arbitrary and truly random action. So maybe we couldn’t know the placement of each grain of sand, but we could know that there would be a beach here or there.

If we are living in a fundamentally Indeterministic universe, is it not true that things really could have been different? If we could go back far enough, those tiny random variations could conceivably amount to sweeping changes, and they could shake out differently everytime we went back (see many-worlds theory).

To be clear, I am NOT making a case for free-will. That requires an uncaused action, that you somehow caused. Randomness, quantum or otherwise, does not get you free-will. The main question I’m asking is, does Determinism need to scooch over and make room for Indeterminism, and what would that mean for our psychology, politics, etc?

 
GAD
 
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GAD
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29 February 2020 06:02
 

Where in psychology, politics, etc does indeterminism determine anything?

 
 
PermieMan
 
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PermieMan
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01 March 2020 05:44
 

Scooching over is one way to put it.  Since this is Philosophy here, you might term it dimensional or even inter-dimensional if that is where you are coming from.  The context for determinism is referencing indeterminism to extrapolate its meaning.  But if science is trying to make the case for the probability of a multiverse or our multidimensional earth plane (3rd dimension) that gives reference to inter-dimensionality (4th dimension) because we are multidimensional human beings that have the capacity to function with a full spectrum of consciousness then you might say in politics to please pass the bong, around the house of rep. just before kick-off…  You’re on your own with psychology tho.

 
 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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01 March 2020 08:29
 

Do you mean indeterminism in the sense of particle distribution or indeterminism as a social doctrine? Or something else?

Because these are entirely separate questions.

 
PermieMan
 
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PermieMan
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01 March 2020 09:00
 

I am proposing the case for a social doctrine.  As for the purpose of comparison of course.

 
 
ImSeriously
 
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ImSeriously
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02 March 2020 10:09
 
Brick Bungalow - 01 March 2020 08:29 AM

Do you mean indeterminism in the sense of particle distribution or indeterminism as a social doctrine? Or something else?

Because these are entirely separate questions.

I guess I’m using what we observe in particle distribution as a starting point to extrapolate into macro physics, and the behavior of complex organisms. After all, that’s exactly what we did with hard determinism - using Newtonian physics to reckon the deterministic behavior of animals.
So we imagine that if we could rewind a few million years and press play, we would see the exact same physics, and thus the exact same history play out. But Indeterminism (particle distribution) necessarily undoes the prescriptive determined-from-the-beginning nature of things, such that we might see a very different history play out. What would matter then is just to what degree things might be different if all those up quarks were down quarks. Would I simply have worded this post differently, or would humanity have never existed at all?

 
PermieMan
 
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PermieMan
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02 March 2020 10:34
 

Indeterminism gives reference to the notion of an absolute… i.e. There is no free will.