# Free Will

Author: Sum1hugme ,

## Topic's posts

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The primary rebuttal to determinism that I found to be somewhat convincing is the idea that certain things on the quantum level are probabilistic rather than causal. But is probability just an expression of man's ignorance?
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To say there is no free will is the same as blaming God for everything.

In other words, it is an easy way to avoid having personal responsibility for one's actions, after all, God made me evil!

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--> @Mopac
But is probability an expression of ignorance?
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--> @Sum1hugme
Probably
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--> @Sum1hugme
The primary rebuttal to determinism that I found to be somewhat convincing is the idea that certain things on the quantum level are probabilistic rather than causal. But is probability just an expression of man's ignorance?
The Standard Argument Against Free-Will (TSAAFW)

(1) Determinism is incompatible with free-will (an inevitable outcome is not a willful choice).
(2) Indeterminism is incompatible with free-will (a random or probabilistic outcome is not a willful choice).
(3) No clever mix of the two solve either incompatibility.

Therefore, free-will is an incoherent concept.
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--> @3RU7AL
But is probability an expression of ignorance?
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--> @Sum1hugme
But is probability an expression of ignorance?
That's currently beyond our epistemological limits.

What we know for certain is,

(IFF) probability (randomness) is fundamental (THEN) it (randomness) is not a "CHOICE"

AND,

(IFF) probability is NOT fundamental (THEN) all interactions are inevitable (also not a "CHOICE")

So, the outcome is the same, EITHER WAY you slice it (TAUTOLOGY).
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--> @3RU7AL
I don't think probability and randomness are always the same. It seems dangerous to use them interchangeably
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--> @Sum1hugme
I don't think probability and randomness are always the same. It seems dangerous to use them interchangeably
Is a roll-of-the-dice probabilistic?

Do we commonly consider a roll-of-the-dice "random"?

Where's the danger exactly?
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--> @3RU7AL
Well we consider a dice roll random because we don't have the means immediately available to measure the physical factors that determine what side it will come up on when tossed.

When we shoot photons at glass, for every 100, between 0 and 16 of them reflect. That's a probability. But it's nonrandom as the percent of reflection is directly proportional to the thickness of the glass.
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--> @Sum1hugme
When we shoot photons at glass, for every 100, between 0 and 16 of them reflect. That's a probability. But it's nonrandom as the percent of reflection is directly proportional to the thickness of the glass.
Are you suggesting that if you know the quality and thickness of the glass, you can predict exactly which individual photons will be reflected?
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--> @3RU7AL
No, but the same percentage will always be reflected depending on the thickness
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--> @Sum1hugme
I don't think probability and randomness are always the same. It seems dangerous to use them interchangeably
Would you object to, "functionally-indistinguishable-from-random"?
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--> @Sum1hugme
No, but the same percentage will always be reflected depending on the thickness
So, would you say that whether or not each individual photon is reflected or not is functionally indistinguishable from a dice-roll?
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--> @3RU7AL
Well, being "functionally-indistinguishable-from-random" is very different from being random. A dice roll is functionally random, but isn't actually random as it's up side is determined by physical factors.

So in the case of photons, you can't determine if an individual photon is going to reflect, but you can determine the probability that it will reflect. My question is: is that probability we are calculating just an expression of our ignorance of the mechanism that determines which photons reflect?

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--> @Sum1hugme
being "functionally-indistinguishable-from-random" is very different from being random. A
Fine. How do we tell the difference? If we have no way of differentiating the two then there is no functional difference, no actionable data.
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--> @secularmerlin
How we tell the difference in each case I guess depends on our ability to measure the factors associated with determining the outcome.
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--> @Sum1hugme
What is the definition of indistinguishable?
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--> @secularmerlin
In this discussion, I suppose it's - lacking identifying or individualizing qualities.
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--> @Sum1hugme
Without identifying or individualizing qualities we cannot determine the difference between seemingly random (which is indistinguishable from random) and actually random (which is also indistinguishable from random). Without the ability to tell the difference I'm not sure how you propose to make the case that anything which is functionally indistinguishable from random is not in fact simply random.
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--> @secularmerlin
He said functionally indistiguishable random. Not simply indistinguishable.
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--> @Sum1hugme
Unless you can tell the difference how are you justifying hairsplitting between functionally indistinguishable from random and actually random? If we cannot tell the difference between the two then there is no actionable data. It may as well be random.
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--> @secularmerlin
Well a dice is functionally random since it isn't practical to calculate which side it will land on. That doesn't negate the fact that the result is determined by physical factors.
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--> @Sum1hugme
So your argument is that apparently random may in fact be deterministic which is also incompatible with freewill. So far you have done nothing to counter 3RU7AL's standard argument against freewill.
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--> @secularmerlin
I'm sorry I don't follow. I'm just asking if probability is an expression of ignorance.