Is everything already determined?

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Re: Is everything already determined?

Postby clw_uk » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:57 pm

Hey Individual



No, everything is not already determined.



Could you expand on this? :)



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Re: Is everything already determined?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:37 pm

they can be described in a manner which is similar, besides science doesn't say either way conclusively scientists do, whether there is or isn't may be infered to some extent depending on how we look at it, but this would still be a belief, plus the deistic model could be described without an entity in the same way.
I have noticed on a few occasions that Dhamma isn't necesaraly a secular or theistic system (names used for contrast only) it will sometimes apear to have one foot on both sides, there is a sutta where the Buddha gives an explanation which is a Dhamma explanation which had aspects of each of the sides of the debate within its dhammic interpretation, and another where a monk says to the buddha give me the answers to these questions and I will stay with you! to which the buddha said he never promiced such answers and he was free to leave if he wished to (these were the suttas I was thinking of earlier but still can not think of the names and these are very rough sketches of them), one of the questions being if there was a first cause to the universe.
I think we all know the buddha did not say a fist cause could be discerned and I think the evolutionist argument which you have used in another thread is possibly what the buddha meant (what caused the cause?) but if we say the first cause is the big bang and the numerous causes which led up to that is also part of the cause then the deistic model I used earlier could apply although this has the draw back of forming a theistic interpretation instead of a humanistic one which would be why the buddha said a first cause can not be known, which renders worshiping a first cause.......... unnessesary and prevents sliding onto either exream.


clw_uk wrote:
determined
this has several possibilities
deist - same as predetermined exept that everything that happens had an initial starting point and course which without other influences its target would fall in the predetermined bracket but as it does effects and alters the couse of everything else it comes into contact with.
science - same as above
theistic - miricles


There is a difference between the deist and science version of it, deist involves some kind of being or intelligence behind it, perhaps even intentional or not. Science leaves that out


Just because something is determined doesnt mean there is or was something doing the determining

metta
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"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Is everything already determined?

Postby clw_uk » Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:42 pm

Is this what you were looking for?


"And did you ever say to me, 'Lord, I will live the holy life under the Blessed One and [in return] he will declare to me that 'The cosmos is eternal,' or 'The cosmos is not eternal,' or 'The cosmos is finite,' or 'The cosmos is infinite,' or 'The soul & the body are the same,' or 'The soul is one thing and the body another,' or 'After death a Tathagata exists,' or 'After death a Tathagata does not exist,' or 'After death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist,' or 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist'?"

"No, lord."

"Then that being the case, foolish man, who are you to be claiming grievances/making demands of anyone?




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Re: Is everything already determined?

Postby clw_uk » Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:46 pm

but if we say the first cause is the big bang and the numerous causes which led up to that is also part of the cause then the deistic model I used earlier could apply although this has the draw back of forming a theistic interpretation instead of a humanistic one which would be why the buddha said a first cause can not be known, which renders worshiping a first cause.......... unnessesary and prevents sliding onto either exream.



I dont say the big bang is the first cause, i lean more towards brane cosmology (ekpyrotic)



Of course its not definitive but it is interesting, i dont see this as a first cause either, i dont think there is one

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Last edited by clw_uk on Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is everything already determined?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:54 pm

I believe the universe still has a bruise from the last contact.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Is everything already determined?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:22 am

Do we need two creation threads? :focus:

As I said, quantum physics shows that determinism is forbidden, the precise position and the precise momentum of a particle cannot be simultaneously known (not due to human limitation but due to a fundamental way in which the universe operates). Want evidence of this? Look at radioactive decay and quantum tunneling. We make use of these phenomena because of probability; so also look up the 'principal of equivalence'. If you observe a single radioactive atom there is no way to tell when a radioactive event will take place. We can analyse the statistics of a lot of such atoms, sure, but then only predictions can be made. The universe FORBIDS total knowledge. Determinism can only work in classical physics. Quantum physics is a rather large spanner in the works.

If we rewound the universe back in time to just after the big back then pressed play again, I think there is no reason to believe humans would still necessarily evolve (or at least, things would be different). Quantum physics and chaos theory working in unison.

It makes me wonder actually (and I know other physicists use this forum (mikenz66?) so please do help me out if I'm being stupid here), are chaos theory and the principal of equivalence compatible? I don't see how they can be, maybe chaos theory only applies to the meso-macroscopic? I don't know; shockingly I never studied chaos theory!
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Re: Is everything already determined?

Postby Pannapetar » Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:48 am

Mawkish1983 wrote:As I said, quantum physics shows that determinism is forbidden...


Quantum mechanics does not disprove determinism in the physical world, because there are deterministic interpretations of quantum mechanics. Personally, find that none of the deterministic interpretations, such as many-world, many-minds, Bohm-de Broglie makes intuitive sense, so I would -in agreement with the majority of physicists- keep to the probabilistic/indeterminist interpretation, but this is a metaphysical conclusion which goes beyond the realm of hard physics. It is a strong argument in favour of an non-determinist physical universe, but it falls short of being a proof.

Despite the notion of karma, Buddhism rejects "hard" determinism. Unfortunately, I cannot cite a sutta to support this right now, but the idea is that the radiant mind is the ground of becoming and that it operates in a not strictly deterministic fashion thus allowing for free will. This contradicts not only the idea of an ironblock universe, but also ironblock causality, namely that any number of existing states must result in exactly one future state. :juggling:

Cheers, Thomas
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Re: Is everything already determined?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:58 am

Pannapetar wrote:
Despite the notion of karma, Buddhism rejects "hard" determinism. Unfortunately, I cannot cite a sutta to support this right now,


"If any one says that a man must reap according to his deeds, in that
case there is no religious life nor opportunity afforded for the entire
extinction of sorrow. But if any one says that what a man reaps accords
with his deeds, in that case there is a religious life and an opportunity is
afforded for the entire extinction of sorrow."
AN I 249.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Is everything already determined?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:05 am

Pannapetar wrote:Quantum mechanics does not disprove determinism in the physical world, because there are deterministic interpretations of quantum mechanics.

Well I've leave the philosophical interpretations to the philosophers. Heisenburg's uncertainty principal, however, is clear; the exact position and the exact momentum of a particle cannot be simultaneously known. Note that 'particle' is a bit abstract and the reason they're not known is because their 'position' and 'momentum' are defined as a probability distribution. Put simply, the universe makes it up as it goes along and there's no reason to conclude it would make the same thing up twice in the same situation. Like I said, rewind time and start again and you'll get something different. This is what makes quantum physics so different from classical physics.
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Re: Is everything already determined?

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:09 am

hi missed this post?
yes it looks like it at first glance!

clw_uk wrote:Is this what you were looking for?


"And did you ever say to me, 'Lord, I will live the holy life under the Blessed One and [in return] he will declare to me that 'The cosmos is eternal,' or 'The cosmos is not eternal,' or 'The cosmos is finite,' or 'The cosmos is infinite,' or 'The soul & the body are the same,' or 'The soul is one thing and the body another,' or 'After death a Tathagata exists,' or 'After death a Tathagata does not exist,' or 'After death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist,' or 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist'?"

"No, lord."

"Then that being the case, foolish man, who are you to be claiming grievances/making demands of anyone?




http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Is everything already determined?

Postby Pannapetar » Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:35 am

Mawkish1983 wrote:Well I've leave the philosophical interpretations to the philosophers.


These are not -strictly speaking- philosophical interpretations, but different interpretations within physics. Please have a look at this wonderful Wikipedia entry that lists the various interpretations. Physicists are themselves divided on the question whether the physical universe is ultimately deterministic or not. As things stand now, the majority seems to think that nature is indeterministic.

Mawkish1983 wrote:Heisenburg's uncertainty principal, however, is clear; the exact position and the exact momentum of a particle cannot be simultaneously known.


Yes, but even the Uncertainty Principle can be interpreted in two ways, namely that (a) it describes a property of nature, or (b) that it describes only the limitation of the interaction between nature and an observer. It is not -in the strict sense- proof for an indeterministic universe. For example, Einstein followed the second thought when he introduced the concept of hidden variables.

I am playing devil's advocate here, because the indeterministic interpretation is in fact much more plausible to me, but it is important to make the above distinction, namely that QM strongly suggests indeterminism, but ultimately cannot prove it. BTW, chaotic systems, or respectively nonlinear dynamical systems, which you also mentioned, are 100% deterministic, but computationally complex and therefore intractable. Philosophically, this means that chaotic systems don't suggest indeterminism but that they are not computable and therefore not predictable.

Cheers, Thomas
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Re: Is everything already determined?

Postby kannada » Fri Jul 31, 2009 10:59 am

Does the big bang mean that everything is already determined?

I believe the 'Big Bang' theory to be flawed from the outset. If the big bang is supposed to be the source of both space and time, what did the universe expand into?

Also, if nothing existed at the point of this 'big bang' there wasn't anything to be pre-determined...

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Re: Is everything already determined?

Postby adosa » Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:00 am

Determinism by its very nature denies the Law of Kamma. The universe might be predetermined without this thing we call "mind".....especially the human mind. We have the ability to make choices. Once we make a choice to do this or do that we set of a chain of events that impacts the entire universe. In nutshell Dependent Origination. Maybe perceptively to us, maybe not, but nonetheless the course of events has veered from a predetermined course. Fortunately.

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