Tangerine Sheri on Jan 10 2009, 03:53 AM, said:
so if we are to turn back time (and not know the outcomes and have everything in the exact same state) would anyone make any different decisions?, IMO no, everything would unfold exactly as it has.
Sure, you can say, hey I can make a decision (in comes the free will illusion) to either conclude that something is sensible or not or wait 10 minutes from now but you will always only make one decision - then if you turn l back time, you will always make the same decision because the components upon which you have made that decision will or have remained the same....
Ah i see ithink where your confusion lies.As a linear being we often confuse the properties of the past and present withthe future. We only have experienced the past and the presentand this assume the future is somehow directly connected in an inescapable linear manner. In reality this is not so. The future simply does not exist. Absolutely anything is possible (although for the reasons you outline, certan things are more probable than others eg a rock will normally fall downhill)
At our point in linear time there is not one future, but a multitude of possible futures. This is simply the way it is. This is much more the case once sapience is included in the equation, because sapience by its nature, increases the potentialities of the universe significantly. The mere existence of life increases potentialities, but any sapience increases those potentialities significantly more, eg a rock has a limited number of potentialities. A plant has more. A sapient being through its sapience increase the numbers again.
If this was not the case, our one single possible future would be as documented as our past. WE woud be able to see and extrapolate it from past and present events. Because no future actually exists yet, this is impossible. It is only our fixed past which leads us to think that in our past we only had one option. Actually we had many. Oonly when we chose one of those potentialities and acted on it did it become reality and form a part of our history. Back then, you had lots of options open to you. You do now, but because you havent made them, each one has a distinctive potentiality.
As we get closer to the present those options/potentials reduce for a variety of reasons; logic cause and effect etc.
Research funded by the cia indicates that within about 3 seconds of the future the future does become largely fixed Ie people have a chance of accurrately predicting what will happen in side of 3 seconds time, but this still allows for independent variables (like a last sec change of mind) changing that future even within the 3 seconds.
The further we are from the future, the more potential variables, and thus more potential futures there are. ANy one of them, or any one minute detail of them ,could turn out to be our real present and then our past.
Almost nothing of an individuals life or even a nations life say 100 years in the future can possibly be preordained or predicted by current conditons in the world. Again our one linear history tends to make us think this way bt it is not so. The american civil war was never inevitable. Neither was kennedy's presidency or his assassination While cause and effect influences the linear time line it does not solely determine it..
Look at it this way. Create a fully sapient robot. Observe it for a while,. Then have a go at predicting its actions. You probably will not be able to because it will be inherently unpredictable.
Humans have some predictable traits but they also have many unpredictable ones,The interaction between sapient beings also makes prediction impossible becuase of the exponential increase in potentialities when humans react with each other.