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    Thread: Just a thought question.

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      Just a thought question.

      I have wondered: Clone someone atom by atom, twice. So two clones. To begin with, they'd be in the exact same state, in some sort of suspended animation. Now, if you were to place both of these clones in two identical, pitch black rooms. Orientated the same, and in exactly the middle of their respective rooms. Once suspended animation had been lifted, would both of these clones then do exactly the same things in their room?

      If so, it would weaken the belief in free will, and if not, then it'd imply some other confounding variable causing a different first choice. If the first action differed, then obviously successive differentiations are irrelevant due to the now different paths of causality. The question is: why would (or wouldn't) the first action differ? (Assumption for my perspective: no matter how complex, every effect (Now) has a definitive set of preceding causes). Or is my assumption completely wrong?

      Is chance, free will, or randomness an illusion....being merely failure to understand a herculean amount of variables, and their complex relations?
      Last edited by Wolfwood; 04-18-2012 at 03:24 PM.

      Who looks outside, dreams;
      who looks inside, awakes.

      - Carl Jung

    2. #2
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      If I have a clone, would my clone have my memories? Memories alone will be a huge differing factor.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Wolfwood View Post
      Is chance, free will, or randomness an illusion....being merely failure to understand a herculean amount of variables, and their complex relations?
      yuuuuppp.
      because causation exists, and there are no external forces (even thoughts and memories exist physically as bits and bytes in your head) we will act exactly the same way given the same circumstances, assuming all circumstances are the same!

      we have to live as though this isn't true though. otherwise we break down and lose motivation for everything!

      but causation hasn't been proven either! so we have to live as though that exists too! otherwise everything else breaks down and then the communists solipsists win
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      Quote Originally Posted by Carrot View Post
      If I have a clone, would my clone have my memories? Memories alone will be a huge differing factor.

      Assuming all of your identity is contained within your physical system, then it would, too, share everything that is you.

      You see, it is important that we're referring to two clones in exactly identical scenarios, and not you and one clone. For instance, even if I contained all of your memories and how you reasoned, if I was in a different environment, I would then differ from you. The environment being the source of a multitude of differing influential variables.

      Who looks outside, dreams;
      who looks inside, awakes.

      - Carl Jung

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      Quote Originally Posted by Wolfwood View Post
      Assuming all of your identity is contained within your physical system, then it would, too, share everything that is you.

      You see, it is important that we're referring to two clones in exactly identical scenarios, and not you and one clone. For instance, even if I contained all of your memories and how you reasoned, if I was in a different environment, I would then differ from you. The environment being the source of a multitude of differing influential variables.
      I will say yes, they'll act exactly the same.

      But you mentioned about exactly identical scenarios. Which is not possible in real life. Unless we have two identical dimensions to test it out in. Even if they're placed in the same room, but standing at a different position will result in a different action too. Unless it's an empty room. But being clones, wouldn't they want to do exactly the same thing? Meaning leaning on the same patch of wall, sitting on the same spot on the floor at that point of time. If that happens, then all I would see is interactions between these two clones.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Carrot View Post
      I will say yes, they'll act exactly the same.

      But you mentioned about exactly identical scenarios. Which is not possible in real life. Unless we have two identical dimensions to test it out in. Even if they're placed in the same room, but standing at a different position will result in a different action too. Unless it's an empty room. But being clones, wouldn't they want to do exactly the same thing? Meaning leaning on the same patch of wall, sitting on the same spot on the floor at that point of time. If that happens, then all I would see is interactions between these two clones.
      Well, two identical (controlled temperature, oxygen content etc), pitch black rooms, side by side, you'd expect them to contain exactly the same variables that'd influence thought & action. So whilst two objects cannot occupy the same space, I don't think this would be necessary to maintain identical extraneous stimuli between the two clones.

      I'd be interested as to what you think would be influentially different in that scenario, even if it's seemingly microscopic. Maybe I'm missing something.

      You could even see each room as its own closed system...alike two parallel dimensions.

      Who looks outside, dreams;
      who looks inside, awakes.

      - Carl Jung

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      Quote Originally Posted by no-Name View Post
      yuuuuppp.
      because causation exists, and there are no external forces (even thoughts and memories exist physically as bits and bytes in your head) we will act exactly the same way given the same circumstances, assuming all circumstances are the same!

      we have to live as though this isn't true though. otherwise we break down and lose motivation for everything!

      but causation hasn't been proven either! so we have to live as though that exists too! otherwise everything else breaks down and then the communists solipsists win
      Indeed, and if we believe in causation as an unrelenting mechanism behind every effect, then we're also forced to believe in an infinite past, no?
      Last edited by Wolfwood; 04-18-2012 at 04:26 PM.

      Who looks outside, dreams;
      who looks inside, awakes.

      - Carl Jung

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      Quote Originally Posted by Wolfwood View Post
      Well, two identical (controlled temperature, oxygen content etc), pitch black rooms, side by side, you'd expect them to contain exactly the same variables that'd influence thought & action. So whilst two objects cannot occupy the same space, I don't think this would be necessary to maintain identical extraneous stimuli between the two clones.

      I'd be interested as to what you think would be influentially different in that scenario, even if it's seemingly microscopic. Maybe I'm missing something.

      You could even see each room as its own closed system...alike two parallel dimensions.
      If they're placed in that scenario at the same time, I believe they'll do exactly the same actions.

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      Double post.
      Last edited by Carrot; 04-18-2012 at 06:00 PM.

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      These kinds of thought experiments have no basis in reality. You cannot simply remove complexity from the situation. However, if you could, then theoretically they would behave the same. But in reality they would not because in reality it would be impossible to replicate something exactly the same way twice.

      Anyways, this is a suitable video for the concept.


      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      Of course it is a thought experiment. And not everything needs to be carried out in reality to determine how people think of particular ideas, e.g., free will. It was more to determine whether people thought all of what we are, our identity, is contained within this personal physical system. And whether one would then say, in some sense, everything within this large system is deterministic, rooted in causality. It elucidates to me how people reason.

      And he is essentially saying that you cannot separate an object from its environment, that is, study it alone without considering environmental effects. Nay, that there is no object nor environment, but the 'unified field'. Interesting though, and I accept that. But why does that still seem in the realm of metaphysics? lol reminds me of John Hagelin tbh. He must be influenced by Buddhism.
      Last edited by Wolfwood; 04-18-2012 at 05:08 PM.

      Who looks outside, dreams;
      who looks inside, awakes.

      - Carl Jung

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      I've never actually read any of Watts. But that video alone has made me wish to.

      Who looks outside, dreams;
      who looks inside, awakes.

      - Carl Jung

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      It is Alan Watts after all, but I don't see how it relates to metaphysics. As he said at the end, it depends on which circle he is conversing with because its simple ecological awareness. An organism does not evolve randomly, but in reaction to its environment. The main thing to take away from this is that there is a transaction occurring where one both affects their environment and is affected by it.

      The reason I point out the importance of remembering this situation is impossible can be understood with this cartoon



      You cannot apply thought-experiments to reality and assume it will allow you to understand reality. Consider different people like different shades of color. While there are a finite number of color combinations on a computer (FFFFFF -> 000000) in reality these combinations go on for infinity, just as the number pi does. When dealing with real numbers, the chances of pulling out a perfect integer or even something finite are infinitely small. In reality, everything is unique.

      Logically speaking human behavior is determined by causation and there is no free will. But again, that only applies to the concept model and not the experiential reality. I understand the purpose of the thought experiment is to figure out the problem of freewill but what I'm trying to say is the problem of free will is too complex to be rationally understood. In the most basic definition of free will it does not technically exist. But there are thousands of other definitions through which is does exist.
      Last edited by Omnis Dei; 04-18-2012 at 05:37 PM.
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      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    14. #14
      Xei
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      Quote Originally Posted by Wolfwood View Post
      I have wondered: Clone someone atom by atom, twice. So two clones.
      Wait, I recognise this...

      Quote Originally Posted by Wolfwood View Post
      To begin with, they'd be in the exact same state, in some sort of suspended animation. Now, if you were to place both of these clones in two identical, pitch black rooms. Orientated the same, and in exactly the middle of their respective rooms. Once suspended animation had been lifted, would both of these clones then do exactly the same things in their room?

      If so, it would weaken the belief in free will, and if not, then it'd imply some other confounding variable causing a different first choice. If the first action differed, then obviously successive differentiations are irrelevant due to the now different paths of causality. The question is: why would (or wouldn't) the first action differ? (Assumption for my perspective: no matter how complex, every effect (Now) has a definitive set of preceding causes). Or is my assumption completely wrong?

      Is chance, free will, or randomness an illusion....being merely failure to understand a herculean amount of variables, and their complex relations?
      I think these philosophical questions actually have clear answers nowadays.

      Firstly you need to specify exactly what you mean by 'free will'. There are two common, but different, definitions: definition A is the ability to make choices, definition B is the ability to violate causality.

      Secondly, to address the physical part of the question: the answer is simply yes, they will have different futures, it's just a question of degree. The universe is inherently random on an atomic scale, and things will quickly diverge on this scale. On a larger scale: that depends on how chaotic (the scientific meaning of chaos) the brain is. If the people could modify their environments one would expect feedback, but as they're just in blank spaces, it could just be a slow, linear divergence in the exact timing of thoughts and so on.

      Now it is easy to determine your questions, based on whatever definitions you gave. For instance, for definition A, divergence is irrelevant to the making of choices; the people will make choices regardless, and so have free will. For definition B, there is no such thing as a single line of causality in the first place, so there's nothing to violate. In fact the whole thought experiment does not bear upon your questions, for these definitions.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Omnis Dei View Post
      It is Alan Watts after all, but I don't see how it relates to metaphysics. As he said at the end, it depends on which circle he is conversing with because its simple ecological awareness. An organism does not evolve randomly, but in reaction to its environment. The main thing to take away from this is that there is a transaction occurring where one both affects their environment and is affected by it.

      The reason I point out the importance of remembering this situation is impossible can be understand with this cartoon



      You cannot apply thought-experiments to reality and assume it will allow you to understand reality. Consider different people like different shades of color. While there are a finite number of color combinations on a computer (FFFFFF -> 000000) in reality these combinations go on for infinity, just as the number pi does. When dealing with real numbers, the chances of pulling out a perfect integer or even something finite are infinitely small. In reality, everything is unique.

      Logically speaking human behavior is determined by causation and there is no free will. But again, that only applies to the concept model and not the experiential reality. I understand the purpose of the thought experiment is to figure out the problem of freewill but what I'm trying to say is the problem of free will is too complex to be rationally understood. In the most basic definition of free will it does not technically exist. But there are thousands of other definitions through which is does exist.


      I agree with what you're saying.

      Oh, the metaphysical aspect was just the allusion to the 'unified field'....you see, some people refer to this to imply that everything is essentially one entity, and thus every thing is intricately connected (ergo, not every thing, but merely part of the thing)....and then some take this a step further to imply telekinesis, shared dreaming, and telepathy are possible.

      Just wondered if he was like John Hagelin with regards to the unified field....which is seemingly metaphysical.

      Who looks outside, dreams;
      who looks inside, awakes.

      - Carl Jung

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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      Wait, I recognise this...


      I think these philosophical questions actually have clear answers nowadays.

      Firstly you need to specify exactly what you mean by 'free will'. There are two common, but different, definitions: definition A is the ability to make choices, definition B is the ability to violate causality.

      Secondly, to address the physical part of the question: the answer is simply yes, they will have different futures, it's just a question of degree. The universe is inherently random on an atomic scale, and things will quickly diverge on this scale. On a larger scale: that depends on how chaotic (the scientific meaning of chaos) the brain is. If the people could modify their environments one would expect feedback, but as they're just in blank spaces, it could just be a slow, linear divergence in the exact timing of thoughts and so on.

      Now it is easy to determine your questions, based on whatever definitions you gave. For instance, for definition A, divergence is irrelevant to the making of choices; the people will make choices regardless, and so have free will. For definition B, there is no such thing as a single line of causality in the first place, so there's nothing to violate. In fact the whole thought experiment does not bear upon your questions, for these definitions.
      Haha, yes, it was your post in abortion that brought it to mind.

      I see. I wasn't aware that at the atomic level, the universe is truly random - is this an assumption of science or...? I mean, how can one prove randomness if one doesn't necessarily have awareness of all the variables involved? And by the way, I'm just going to accept your answer on this for I don't have the mathematical aptitude to actually go through, I presume, a complex proof.
      Last edited by Wolfwood; 04-18-2012 at 05:54 PM.

      Who looks outside, dreams;
      who looks inside, awakes.

      - Carl Jung

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      Right he applies a different definition though he doesn't dismiss those concepts either. He has an interesting take on astrology. Astrologers look at the state of the universe at the time of your birth. Then they determine what kind of person you'll be. Watts says the argument is sound, only astrologers have no idea how to read the chart. We are affected by the world around us, which in turn is affected by the greater reality surrounding it, and so on and so forth.

      But I think the video still contains the most important point I'm trying to make, which is that you cannot apply some newtonian, billiard ball model on reality. When we are struck by a force, our reaction is not determinable. Complexity Theorists would claim that there is, in fact, a finite number of variables, it's simply impossible to account for each one of them. But if it were, one could accurately predict a result. I suppose I lurk into something ascribable as metaphysics when I say this, (even though it's not metaphysics when you really look into it, because metaphysics implies some sort of transcendental reality) but I subscribe to magical theory, meaning I believe the number of variables are infinite.

      And because the variables are infinite, this not only means results are impossible to predict, but in fact that there is a transaction occurring between entropic mechanisms. Everything is a system of information. A hologram where a certain number of particles determines which type of atom something is and basic proteins have a language that drives the mechanics of life. You know fuck it, I can't explain this shit in any sort of practical way. Basically what I'm saying is our choices are not determined by a billiard-ball type of causation, but they're also not determined by some sort of transcendental soul that is free from causal functions of reality. Our choices emerge from infinite possibility.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      You'd be better asking somebody like Philosopher, because I am ignorant about concepts like information of a system and how uncertainty relates to all of that. But on a small scale, the universe certainly seems best described as fundamentally being composed of waves of probability.

      The ubiquitous experiment is the double slit experiment. If you transmit waves (of water, light, etc.) through two close slits, the waves interfere, and you get an interference pattern on a screen behind. Now, if you fire particles (electrons, atoms, molecules, etc.) one at a time, you also get an interference pattern. The particles can't be interfering with each other because they're going through one at a time, so what must be happening is that each particle actually acts like a wave, which travels through the slits, interferes with itself, and then the wave amplitude at the screen describes the probability that it will appear at a given location. The conclusion is logically implied.
      Last edited by Xei; 04-18-2012 at 06:07 PM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Omnis Dei View Post
      Right he applies a different definition though he doesn't dismiss those concepts either. He has an interesting take on astrology. Astrologers look at the state of the universe at the time of your birth. Then they determine what kind of person you'll be. Watts says the argument is sound, only astrologers have no idea how to read the chart. We are affected by the world around us, which in turn is affected by the greater reality surrounding it, and so on and so forth.

      But I think the video still contains the most important point I'm trying to make, which is that you cannot apply some newtonian, billiard ball model on reality. When we are struck by a force, our reaction is not determinable. Complexity Theorists would claim that there is, in fact, a finite number of variables, it's simply impossible to account for each one of them. But if it were, one could accurately predict a result. I suppose I lurk into something ascribable as metaphysics when I say this, (even though it's not metaphysics when you really look into it, because metaphysics implies some sort of transcendental reality) but I subscribe to magical theory, meaning I believe the number of variables are infinite.

      And because the variables are infinite, this not only means results are impossible to predict, but in fact that there is a transaction occurring between entropic mechanisms. Everything is a system of information. A hologram where a certain number of particles determines which type of atom something is and basic proteins have a language that drives the mechanics of life. You know fuck it, I can't explain this shit in any sort of practical way. Basically what I'm saying is our choices are not determined by a billiard-ball type of causation, but they're also not determined by some sort of transcendental soul that is free from causal functions of reality. Our choices emerge from infinite possibility.
      Naa you make sense. With a finite amount of variables and values, everything would evidently be predictable, and deterministic - literally like a billiard ball table (metaphorically, a closed system with finite variables). Obviously with an infinite range of variables and only a finite grasp of the infinite, one cannot make certain predictions.

      Yeah? I think I just have an instinct against accepting infinite possibility. Though I'm sure this is merely because I cannot make heads nor tails of it, and think finitely.
      Last edited by Wolfwood; 04-18-2012 at 06:06 PM.

      Who looks outside, dreams;
      who looks inside, awakes.

      - Carl Jung

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      Pondering infinity too much, you find your reason leads you to make some rather upsetting concessions. That's why many theories related to infinity have been grouped under something I call Magical Theory.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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