#1
A lot of people believe in free will, and one of the most convincing things I've heard against free will (or at least common definitions of free will) is determinism. So (keep in mind I know NOTHING about Quantum Mechanics) whenever people argue against free will and determinism is brought up, people in favor of free will bring up Quantum Mechanics and say that because it contradicts determinism I guess, it validates free will.

So my question is this: Does Quantum Mechanics in any way support free will, and is it a valid thing to bring up in favor of free will?
#2
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#4
I actually learned about this in class yesterday. Apparently everything being casually determined contradicts with quantum mechanics because the sub-microscopic particles behave randomly/in an unforseen manner.

Not sure I see it, though...
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#6
Basically, quantum mechanics say that everything is random... I always though of that as saying we don't have free will though...
#7
Quote by Kensai
I actually learned about this in class yesterday. Apparently everything being casually determined contradicts with quantum mechanics because the sub-microscopic particles behave randomly/in an unforseen manner.

Not sure I see it, though...

Pretty much this.
Just because quantum mechanics contradict determinism, it does not completely validate free will. Quantum mechanics relies on all events being completely random, free will is not random, it's chosen. Quantum mechanics contradict the idea of free will.
If this sounds like absolute bollocks to anyone, I've probably remembered it wrong, it came up in class a couple of years ago.
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Last edited by Demonikk at Sep 30, 2009,
#9
I've heard quantum mechanics going against the i think therefore I am argument but I forgot how completely. It made sense when I was high.
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#12
Also, that doesn't necessarily work. Quantum physics only apply to small enough particles, mostly electrons. Everything else follows Newtonian physics. I mean electrons can go faster than the speed of light, but nothing else can so obviously Quantum physics can't apply to us.
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#13
Quote by Xenogis
Basically, quantum mechanics say that everything is random... I always though of that as saying we don't have free will though...


If what your saying is true, then the only explanation is that we have free will, only it is semi-determined.

Saying something is random actually qualifies a lot of things to happen. For example, if you decide you want to walk to a bench and sit down (that is free will by the way), there are several things that could happen.

A) you could make it all the way to the bench and sit down (free will)
B) you could make it halfway to the bench and trip on the sidewalk (free will subject to random event) then pick yourself up and walk to the bench.
C) you could take a step toward the bench and fall into a portal that ends up in Africa. The bench you were trying to reach is now unreachable and you are subject to determinism (random determinate of your fate).

Being that choice "C" is highly unlikely, I would say that Quantum Physics have very little prominence in our free will.

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#14
*completely lost*
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#15
Quote by tayroar
I mean electrons can go faster than the speed of light

If the electron is approaching the speed of light in a vacuum or in air, and is then injected into a heavier medium like water (where the speed of light is slower); then yes, the electron would be faster than the light.

But neck and neck in the same medium, an electron cannot attain or exceed the speed of light.
#16
There is a limit of how much we can learn about sub-atomic particles, this is because we can either: Know exactly how fast a particle is moving but know nothing about where it is, or we can know exactly where it is but have no idea how fast it is moving, this prevents us from learning too much about nature on such a small scale. If you would like to research this it's called the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

This actually leads nicely on to a great joke, Mr.Heisenberg is driving down the road one day and he gets pulled over by a policeman, the officer approaches his window and says, "excuse me, sir, do you know how fast you were going back there?" to which Mr.Heisenberg replies, "No idea, but i can tell you exactly where i am!" let the lols begin.

Please note any/all of the information above is liable to be false, i was trying to remember what i learned a while ago.
#17
Quote by tayroar
Also, that doesn't necessarily work. Quantum physics only apply to small enough particles, mostly electrons. Everything else follows Newtonian physics. I mean electrons can go faster than the speed of light, but nothing else can so obviously Quantum physics can't apply to us.



There is no question that particle interactions at the quantum level have VERY large affect on the behavior of matter at every level!
#18
Quote by The Madcap
A lot of people believe in free will, and one of the most convincing things I've heard against free will (or at least common definitions of free will) is determinism. So (keep in mind I know NOTHING about Quantum Mechanics) whenever people argue against free will and determinism is brought up, people in favor of free will bring up Quantum Mechanics and say that because it contradicts determinism I guess, it validates free will.

So my question is this: Does Quantum Mechanics in any way support free will, and is it a valid thing to bring up in favor of free will?


Not really. Even if nature isn't entirely deterministic (and classically, the universe is), you wouldn't be in control of the quantum changes.
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#19
Quote by blue_strat
If the electron is approaching the speed of light in a vacuum or in air, and is then injected into a heavier medium like water (where the speed of light is slower); then yes, the electron would be faster than the light.

But neck and neck in the same medium, an electron cannot attain or exceed the speed of light.


Well, I'm not a physicist or anything and I've only heard it from people, but I've heard that electrons can communicate instantly from different part of a galaxy. I mean please tell me if I'm wrong but that's what I heard, and that is where the whole multiverse theory came from.
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#20
Free Will and Determinism are Philosophical questions in nature, to me, and I feel that no matter how advanced we become in the sciences, they will never be able to confirm or deny free will or determinism.
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#21
Quote by tayroar
Also, that doesn't necessarily work. Quantum physics only apply to small enough particles, mostly electrons. Everything else follows Newtonian physics. I mean electrons can go faster than the speed of light, but nothing else can so obviously Quantum physics can't apply to us.

On one end of the physics spectrum you have Quantum Mechanics. On the other end you have General Relativity and all of Einstein's shiz.
No one has a perfect model that encompases both (a Unified Theory).
Newtonian physics are close enough for most things, but they aren't perfect.

So, yes, Quantum Physics does apply to us.

Quote by tayroar
Well, I'm not a physicist or anything and I've only heard it from people, but I've heard that electrons can communicate instantly from different part of a galaxy. I mean please tell me if I'm wrong but that's what I heard, and that is where the whole multiverse theory came from.

Quantum Entanglement.
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Last edited by wiliscool at Sep 30, 2009,