On Tue, Sep 9, 2008 at 7:44 PM, Stathis Papaioannou <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>wrote:
> 2008/9/10 Jason Resch <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>:
> > Uv,
> > One of the concerns people have with free will or the lack thereof is
> > if physics is deterministic, one's future actions can predicted
> > without them even having to exist. However, an interesting consequence
> > computationalism is this: One's future actions cannot be predicted
> without a
> > simulation that goes into enough detail to instantiate that person's
> > consciousness. As conscious creatures, our wills cannot be calculated
> > without our consciousness being invoked by the calculations, just as the
> > physics of this universe is doing now.
> Hm, sounds good, but is that true?
I think it is, if you ignoring unpredictability due to QM, measurement
problems, need to simulate the environment etc. We can set aside the debate
on these other issues for the purposes of this thought experiment by saying
there exists a simulated mind and environment together inside a computer and
both the mind and environment evolve according to deterministic rules which
can be computed in finite time.
Within that situation, it is clear that there is no way to leap to future
states of the system other than having the computer compute each
intermediate step, skipping or abridging finer details of the system
(environment or the mind) will lead to ever growing inaccuracies later down
the road, as Rich mentioned a sensitive dependence on initial conditions.
The only sure way to _know_ with certainty what the future holds is to
process every instruction of the program. Unless you believe in the
possibility of philosophical zombies, a conscious being cannot be accurately
simulated without simulating its mind in enough detail for that being to be
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