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Author Topic: Why does it seem that things happen?  (Read 5362 times)

Offline Bill S

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Re: Why does it seem that things happen?
« Reply #25 on: 21/09/2013 21:41:38 »
Quote from: AndroidNeox
Why does it seem that things happen?

If we assume that events not only occur in the present, but continue to exist in what we perceive as the past, and may already exist in our future, this does seem to preclude free will. 

Consider this (crackpot?) possibility.  The Cosmos is infinite, timeless and changeless.  Even saying that everything that can happen has already happened is misleading because the concept of “happening” involves the process of change.  The best we can say is that in the cosmos, “everything is”.       

The question now becomes: Why do we perceive things as happening?  It must be because we have to make sense of the world in which we exist, or we would not be able to exist in it.  We have evolved to perceive time and change. Thus, time and change are essential to us, but ultimately they are illusions.  They are what we perceive in our 3 + 1 D spacetime, so they are as real as anything else in our Universe.  The same can be said of free will; it operates in our Universe, so it is real in our Universe.  That is all we can say about it in a scientific context.

I acknowledge that it seems I am saying that in the context of the cosmos, there is no free will.  However, it is so nearly impossible for us to imagine a timeless and changeless state that we have to ask if we could be sure that, in the infinite cosmos, things are not as they are because of the things we perceive ourselves as doing, from choice, in our communal frame of reference.  That, of course, is a question too far for a science forum, but I contend that anything up to that point has a right to a place in the sort of speculative science that asks what came before the Big Bang, or if there could be multiple universes. 


 

lean bean

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Re: Why does it seem that things happen?
« Reply #26 on: 22/09/2013 10:59:44 »
These things can have you scratching your block sometimes. :)
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According to the growing block universe theory of time (or simply the growing block view), the past and present exist and the future does not exist. The present is an objective property, to be compared with a moving spotlight. By the passage of time more of the world comes into being, therefore the block universe is said to be growing. The present is supposed to be the place where this is supposed to happen, a very thin slice of spacetime, where more of spacetime is coming into being.
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Growing_block_universe
 

Offline Pmb

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Re: Why does it seem that things happen?
« Reply #27 on: 24/09/2013 03:53:57 »
Quote from: AndroidNeox
Pmb, you can't have both Relativity and Quantum Mechanics be correct except in a multiverse.
I don't know where you got that idea from but you're alone in that assumption. That is by no means assumed to be the case in the wonderful world of quantum mechanics and relativity. One does not imply the other by ay means.

Quote from: AndroidNeox
Relativity requires that spacetime be fixed and unchanging. QM requires that multiple outcomes are possible for events. That means, multiple outcomes must exist in fixed spacetime.
That is a false conclusion. You took "are possible" and took that to mean "must happen" which certainly doesn't follow. I believe that this is the root of your mistake.

Quantum mechanics provides a rule that satisfies these requirements. If any observation would be inconsistent with even a single quantum within the observer, the outcome's state would be non-Hermitian. Schrödinger  described such states as unobservable.

The idea that observation alters the universe is a hold-over from classical physics' interpretation of "the universe". If we discard that outdated concept and accept that observation alters the observer, then we end up with purely local and physically-consistent observable reality.
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: Why does it seem that things happen?
« Reply #28 on: 29/09/2013 22:19:43 »
These things can have you scratching your block sometimes. :)
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According to the growing block universe theory of time (or simply the growing block view), the past and present exist and the future does not exist. The present is an objective property, to be compared with a moving spotlight. By the passage of time more of the world comes into being, therefore the block universe is said to be growing. The present is supposed to be the place where this is supposed to happen, a very thin slice of spacetime, where more of spacetime is coming into being.
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Growing_block_universe

I agree with this totally. The is only one present that exits for the whole universe. The galaxies we see from past light are doing something "now" just as we are. Because the speed of light precludes us from seeing it immediately means little in the cosmic scheme of things. Einstein needn't have worried. We usually over think the details and the whole picture becomes as remote as the furthest galaxy.
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: Why does it seem that things happen?
« Reply #29 on: 29/09/2013 23:00:43 »
Some interesting stuff on time here.
 

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Re: Why does it seem that things happen?
« Reply #29 on: 29/09/2013 23:00:43 »

 

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