In a purely physical Universe free of conscious living agents then yes, this would be true.chewybrian wrote: ↑July 9th, 2018, 10:13 am
The last bit would fit with my choice 1) and not your choice 2). Under your choice, there would be a cause for everything, and it would only appear to us, due to limited knowledge, that there may have been no cause. Yet, somewhere, unknown to us, there would have been causes and effects with every movement of every electron or beam of light and idea in your head since the big bang. If we were omniscient, then we would know how it all would shake out (I don't know about you, but I'd be out at the race track, but I digress).
A super quantum omniscient computer could in theory predict the course of the Universe from start to finish.
However in a Universe such as ours where conscious agents do exist, we need to consider the effects of the physical non physical relationship between matter and conscious agents. With this being said the same super quantum omniscient computer could still make accurate predictions, but there would now exist a finite amount of potential possible futures.
So the future would not be set in stone until the moment one of the multiple alternative possibilities had come to be.
Conscious agents are subject to a variety of influences which inanimate objects are immune to, such as emotions, reasoning, cognitive errors (unintentional acts) and the ability to intentionally interact and alter natural states.
It is the action, regardless of intention (wilful action) that determines the future and alters outcomes. Sleeping in one morning racing to work, running a stop sign and hitting the pedestrian who wasn't looking cause he was on his phone texting his wife about his lunch he left at home drastically changes the course of the futures of multiple people, the chain of events which follow have a ripple effect which then flows on changing trillions of other potential futures, and so forth and so forth.The future would be set in stone, only we just wouldn't be able to predict it with certainty due to limited knowledge, not because it was uncertain. If there were real uncertainty (not simply perceived), then there would be someone re-charting the course of events at various points, like you or I exerting our will.
With this said, if we could some how rewind the clock the series of events would not change as each moment is contingent on the prior, X will always cause Y.....the inescapable consequence of reality.
I do experience the sensation of being in control of actions and thoughts, however on the same token I am also aware of the conscious narrative in my head which pleads with reason and emotion, argues with itself (myself) as to "should I, shouldn't I"? ""What should I say next"? "Why did I do that"?I do understand the strength of the argument. Do you not have the experience of being in control of your actions, though? And does this experience not put the burden of proof on the other side? If this one thing does not match the rest of our experience, then perhaps it is, as it appears to be, different from everything else. But, if the proof has not yet been made, then why do you want to be on the side that denies your experience, and worse, your ability to control your own destiny in the slightest way?
There is always a reason, there is always purpose, my thoughts and actions don't just spontaneously appear and occur at random. They are normally emotional reactions or responses drawn from previous experiences.
I don't believe the absence of free will removes the ability to control our own destiny, as I have said the future cannot be set in stone because the future does not yet exist.
I can influence certain aspects of my life to navigate towards the future I want for myself, however things change that are beyond my control which may enevidabley cause my future to be what ever it may be.