The Fate of Free Will: When Science Crosses Swords with Phil

Discussions on the philosophical foundations, assumptions, and implications of science, including the natural sciences.

The Fate of Free Will: When Science Crosses Swords with Phil

Postby socrat44 on September 15th, 2018, 8:01 am 

The Fate of Free Will: When Science Crosses Swords with Philosophy
By Abraham Loeb on September 10, 2018

Scientific discoveries substantiate our awe when faced with
the richness and universality of the laws of nature.
But science falls short of explaining this natural order and
why it exists in the first place.

This is where philosophy comes to the rescue.
. . . .
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/ob ... hilosophy/

===============
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Re: The Fate of Free Will: When Science Crosses Swords with

Postby Alan Masterman on May 15th, 2019, 11:05 pm 

An intelligent post, and an interesting article, but of course it butts its head against the old problem: science is value-neutral, and cannot furnish a guide to ethics.
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Re: The Fate of Free Will: When Science Crosses Swords with

Postby JohnD on May 16th, 2019, 3:01 am 

Alan Masterman » 16 May 2019, 13:05 wrote:An intelligent post, and an interesting article, but of course it butts its head against the old problem: science is value-neutral, and cannot furnish a guide to ethics.

Is it? Thought construct would say otherwise. Certainly when science is considered outside of theory, in other words facts alone, then yes it is neutral.
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Re: The Fate of Free Will: When Science Crosses Swords with

Postby Serpent on May 16th, 2019, 9:24 am 

Whoa!
For someone who said this -

.....the same laws that govern its [the universe] earliest moments.....also preside over what we find today in laboratories on Earth. This should not be taken for granted. We could have witnessed a fragmented reality, one in which different regions of spacetime obey different sets of laws or even behave chaotically with no rational explanation.

I can't quite imagine how he thinks reality would go about fracturing, or why it would do so, and how part of it would then go on to the the high degree of organization that makes life possible.
this:
Fortunately, we currently have the technology to search for both primitive and intelligent life elsewhere. And the knowledge we will acquire over the next millennium may shape the way we view our place in the universe in an unexpected fashion—whether we have “free will” or not.

seems to be taking for granted something quite unfounded in observable reality: that human organization and technology will proceed in a straight line, without a break.
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Re: The Fate of Free Will: When Science Crosses Swords with

Postby socrat44 on June 23rd, 2019, 9:46 pm 

About philosophy of science.
Book “Facing Up”, by Steven Weinberg.
=..
“I think few philosophers of science take it (discussing questions
about scientific knowledge) as part of their job description to help
scientists in their research. . . . . why this should be? Why should
the philosophy of science not be of more help to scientists? I raise
this question here not in order to attack the philosophy of science,
but because I think it is an interesting question – perhaps even
philosophically interesting,”
/ page 84 /
“ . . . it’s not the job of physicists or other scientists to define truth;
that is the job of philosophers. If they haven’t done that job, too bad
for them”
/ page 104 /
“My point is rather that no sense can be made of the notion of reality
as it has ordinarily functioned in the philosophy of science”
/page 205/
“Fortunately we need not allow philosophers to dictate how
philosophical arguments are to be applied in the history
of science, or in scientific research itself, . . . .”
/page 205/
“Certainly philosophers can do us a great service in their attempts
to clarify what we mean by truth and reality,”
/page 206/
=====…
My opinion.
We know that “truth” and “reality” mean in our everyday life
(for example we have no trouble to use these words in a supermarket).
But can we explain “truth” and “reality” in science / physics on
the logical “supermarket” level? Einstein, Rutherford, Bohr and
other physicists were sure that it is possible.
===
“Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity, and not in the multiplicity
and confusion of things.”
/ Isaac Newton /
“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough”
/ Albert Einstein. /
"A theory that you can't explain to a bartender is probably no damn good."
/ Ernest Rutherford /
“It is often claimed that knowledge multiplies so rapidly that
nobody can follow it. I believe this is incorrect.
At least in science it is not true.
The main purpose of science is simplicity and as we understand more things,
everything is becoming simpler.
This, of course, goes contrary to what everyone accepts.”
/ Edward Teller /
===
It seems that philosophers haven’t done their job.
======
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Re: The Fate of Free Will: When Science Crosses Swords with

Postby A_Seagull on June 26th, 2019, 12:58 am 

Alan Masterman » May 16th, 2019, 3:05 pm wrote:it butts its head against the old problem: science is value-neutral, and cannot furnish a guide to ethics.


Can you prove that? Or even justify it? For me its JAC.. just another cliché.
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Re: The Fate of Free Will: When Science Crosses Swords with

Postby charon on June 26th, 2019, 5:09 am 

...

Here we go again. May as well lock the thread right now!

What has science, the exploration of material existence, to do with ethics, which involves the rights and wrongs of human behaviour? Absolutely nothing as far as I can see.

And what is philosophy? It's generally called the love of wisdom, and wisdom is generally called sound judgement. That is, sane, logical, intelligent perception.

Life is greater than all these divided compartments Each compartment is separate from the others, science, philosophy and ethics. As they exist they are branches of knowledge. But knowledge is only a part of life. And we can add to that all the other innumerable branches of knowledge.

None of these is an answer to life. Not even if all were taken together is knowledge an answer to life because knowledge is always partial and life is always new.

Apparently the issue, as stated in the linked article, is:


'science falls short of explaining this natural order and why it exists in the first place'.


Then it says:

'This is where philosophy comes to the rescue'.


Of course it doesn't, that's a ludicrous statement. If all we had to do is read up a lot of philosophy to find the answer to the question 'why' we'd have resolved the whole thing a long time ago.

We ought to be asking ourselves WHY none of these things don't answer the question. But we know why, because knowledge, no matter how extensive, is not an answer to life, and life is the issue.

By 'life' I mean everything, all existence, not just our own little, rather shoddy, daily affairs. No knowledge can encompass that, it's too vast, immense, immeasurable. It's beyond the limits of science and beyond the measure of words.

So it's back to the old chestnut 'Why does anything exist?'. Answer: because it does, so we may as well get on with it.

Then there's the question of the mind. The mind now is essentially the thinking principle and all thought is limited to what it knows. No thought can function outside its knowledge; the two are the same. But when the mind is not the slave of knowledge then it can enter realms beyond all knowledge. This is a fact.

That's the only way human beings can discover the real truths of life, the actual nature of existence. And none of that may be 'provable' in the sense we normally mean it.
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Re: The Fate of Free Will: When Science Crosses Swords with

Postby socrat44 on June 26th, 2019, 3:17 pm 

charon » June 26th, 2019, 5:09 am wrote:...

Then there's the question of the mind.
The mind now is essentially the thinking principle and
all thought is limited to what it knows.
No thought can function outside its knowledge; the two are the same.
But when the mind is not the slave of knowledge
then it can enter realms beyond all knowledge.
This is a fact.


It seems that you are sound like Einstein:
"Imagination is more important than knowledge.
For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces
the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution."

https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Talk:Al ... tein_quote
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Re: The Fate of Free Will: When Science Crosses Swords with

Postby charon on June 26th, 2019, 5:29 pm 

Imagination is still thought.
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Re: The Fate of Free Will: When Science Crosses Swords with

Postby Lozza on June 26th, 2019, 9:38 pm 

Like The Da Vinci Code, the only thing interesting was the title.
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Re: The Fate of Free Will: When Science Crosses Swords with

Postby A_Seagull on June 27th, 2019, 12:04 am 

I have to agree with the above. The article is nonsense. I could take it to pieces , but I wouldn't' know where to start.

I just hope Dr. Loeb knows more about astronmo9my than he does about philosophy.
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Re: The Fate of Free Will: When Science Crosses Swords with

Postby socrat44 on July 26th, 2019, 11:47 am 

Physicists Have Reversed Time on The Smallest Scale by Using a Quantum Computer
MIKE MCRAE 20 JUL 2019
''It's easy to take time's arrow for granted - but the gears
of physics actually work just as smoothly in reverse.''
. . . .
''Researchers from Russia and the US teamed up to find
a way to break, or at least bend, one of physics'
most fundamental laws on energy.''
https://www.sciencealert.com/physicists ... m-computer

Does ''The second law of thermodynamics'' depend on TIME ?
Does the cold Universe become hot because TIME wants that ?
Does ENTROPY obey an '' arrow of time '' ?
As researches said: ENTROPY is '' most fundamental laws on energy''
Does ENTROPY (as some kind of ENERGY) depend on TIME or vice versa ?
===

''Virtually every other rule in physics can be flipped and still make sense.''
https://www.sciencealert.com/physicists ... m-computer

Yeah. for example:
Virtually, if you put the carriage before the horse, the carriage
somehow will be moving, but Practically, it is an analogy
(as laws of Physics say ) for doing things in the wrong order.
===========
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Re: The Fate of Free Will: When Science Crosses Swords with

Postby Serpent on July 26th, 2019, 12:22 pm 

socrat44 » July 26th, 2019, 10:47 am wrote:Virtually, if you put the carriage before the horse, the carriage
somehow will be moving, but Practically, it is an analogy
(as laws of Physics say ) for doing things in the wrong order.
===========


You do know we have horseless carriages now, right? They can go forward or in reverse.

What 'things' are being done in the 'wrong' order? Who determines the 'right' order?
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Re: The Fate of Free Will: When Science Crosses Swords with

Postby JohnD on July 27th, 2019, 2:38 am 

Imagine a universe where time isn't an obstacle and no physical bodies are present. When two beings meet it is momentary and in an instant they share information. The meeting lasts only a moment and then each party moves on to their next meeting.
Life is a meeting of two beings, sometimes momentary and sometimes lifelong. It cannot and does not allow itself to be evaluated by a mathematical formula.
Science is the written child of all such meetings wanting every detail to be accurate. Constantly evaluating the result as if it were going to change from one moment to the next.
A philosopher is a thinker, poser, debater and writer of ideas. He is the cause of morals and ethics having been written though not the reason we have them. A scientist is far more practical, more about cause and effect, the mechanics of all things and though there have been times when paths have crossed it needs noting that the two paths can be very different.
The question isn't which is more important and the answer isn't to be found when and if we ever finally find out how big the universe is. The answer is in our questioning of what we consider to be more important to include in our journals for future generations to ponder.
The order of all things is up to the beholder, is a diamond better viewed from the outside in or the inside out?
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Re: The Fate of Free Will: When Science Crosses Swords with

Postby charon on July 27th, 2019, 11:24 am 

JohnD » July 27th, 2019, 7:38 am wrote:Imagine a universe where time isn't an obstacle


It's not an obstacle now. Obstacle to what?

no physical bodies are present. When two beings meet it is momentary and in an instant they share information.


Two disembodied beings, then. What, spirits of some kind?

Science is the written child of all such meetings wanting every detail to be accurate.


I don't think science as it is now would consider any such thing. They definitely don't do disembodied beings.

A philosopher is a thinker, poser, debater and writer of ideas.


A true philosopher is not a poser.

it needs noting that the two paths can be very different.


Depends on the science. Thinking scientists have always pushed the boundaries of material investigation, Einstein included.

The answer is in our questioning of what we consider to be more important to include in our journals for future generations to ponder.


Maybe neither are that important, although science is probably the more useful.

The order of all things is up to the beholder


It's not a matter of individual perception, it's a matter of fact. The order of all things is a fact. The universe is 100% orderly. We may not be, but that's another issue.
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Re: The Fate of Free Will: When Science Crosses Swords with

Postby Serpent on July 27th, 2019, 3:04 pm 

There are no swords.
There is no crossing.
Science and Philosophy - you can add Religion and Art, if you like - are playing different games by different rules in different arenas.
Of those, Philosophy is the only discipline whose practitioners take it upon themselves to pontificate on the other subjects - sometimes ill-informedly, sometimes inappropriately. They can do that, because it's the oldest formal system of knowledge and thus can - at least in theory; in a perfectly-ordered intellectual universe - encompass all systems of knowledge. But it cannot be arbiter or puppet-master to another discipline.
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