Question by Dsfargeg: Physics and the mind: UPDATE?
Is your mind more powerful than the laws of physics?

If not, then you have no free will.

Asserting that one’s brain has independent power over one’s actions is asserting that the brain is more powerful than the fundamental laws of physics that govern it. Everything that occurs in the universe is determined by the fundamental interactions between subatomic particles; your mind as a whole does not actually have any independent control over anything at all.

Free will does not exist.

Therefore, one has no personal control over whether one gets into heaven or hell. For God to create your body and soul and then to punish your soul for the actions of your body is like an engineer building a straight train track, putting a train on it, telling the train to turn, and when it doesn’t, getting infuriated and dropping a nuclear bomb on it.

That doesn’t sound very benevolent, or even rational.

At the same time, you have no free will to come here or leave here. I have no free will to choose to be Christian, I just am. It was determined before the world began. This means you own effort in trying to undermine my faith is futile. Now who is the irrational one who tries to convince people who have no choice as to what they believe (by your own argument) that they should believe something else. Aren’t you being irrational?

Me: My mind is not being irrational, in that it is attempting to spread its beliefs, which is perfectly natural and rational. However, what my mind does is not really under my control; it’s under the control of the laws of physics.
Free will is not an all nothing situation. While we may not over-ride the laws of physics, we do have the power to make decisions and choices each and every day that affect our lives and the lives of others. Decisions that interact with the laws of physics and influence outcomes.

We have some free will, so to speak.

Me: But the decisions that your brain ultimately makes are ultimately determined not by your soul or anything you have control over; your decisions are controlled ultimately just by the laws of physics, just as your brain has to completely obey the laws of physics.
The laws of physics do NOT affect every action and thought of a person. Those laws are limited to physics. They have no say over a person’s thoughts, feelings, or actions arising from said thoughts or feelings, provided that said actions themselves don’t violate the laws of physics.

Me: Wow, so you are asserting that your brain actually DOES have superiority over the laws of physics. That is impossible. The laws of reality control reality; your brain is a part of reality; what your brain does is governed by the laws of reality, and not by any independent internal mechanism. Why don’t you go study some philosophy and science yourself?
How many times has science changed it’s mind about the nature of existence and how we should live our lives? How many times have our scientific pronouncements been found faulty. Science, like all religions (and I use the word religion to mean a basis for a way of life), provides great tools for getting through this life and is an interesting way of looking at the world, but even they can not truly know the Unknowable.

Me: Science does not say how one should live one’s life. That is the realm of ethics. But science has NOT changed its mind that there are laws that govern reality; that is what the science studies. Again, please show me how your mind is stronger than the laws of reality.
According to developments in Quantum Mechanics, not only do the Laws of Physics give the human consciousness the greatest power of all (See Schroedinger’s Cat, the EPN Thought-experiments, and Airey Pattern Tests), but this greatest power of all is the trumpcard against Reality. The Laws don’t govern your world FOR you, they govern the fact that the world submits to YOUR governance of it.

Me: Go read what I said about the many-worlds hypothesis again. I already refuted your argument.
What we do know about emergent functions, however, is that they’re generally unpredictable by anything other than direct observation (as in, you can only see what they’re going to do by letting them do it, you can’t predict anything accurately beforehand). In other words, claiming determinism by invoking the laws of physics is unproven and still very much up for debate.

Me: I did not claim determinism. Read what I said about the many-worlds hypothesis. Reality may not be determinable; it may very well be random. But that still means that your mind does not ultimately have control over anything.

Best answer:

Answer by Vincent K, Atheati Mad Scientist
You HAVE claimed determinism, because that’s what you call the hypothesis that there is no free will. You have either wilfully misread my statement or not clearly comprehended it.

And by the way, you haven’t refuted the arguments about quantum theory just by mentioning the many-worlds hypothesis. Sorry.

While you may be correct in the idea that free will doesn’t exist, in a debating sense you have not been able to rationally refute other people’s arguments, as you clearly haven’t understood half of them. Try again.

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