I was just watching this video about reconciling free will and physical laws. The video begins with the following premises
- It is possible for a human being to create a machine that, given the intial state of the universe, can predict the future state of the universe at any time, and present that future in a human-understandable form
- A human could then read their own future and perform some action not predicted by the machine
This would then create a contradiction since the machine would then have incorrectly predicted the future. Since assuming both premises led to a contradiction, this must mean one of the premises was incorrect. This would seem to lead to the conclusion that either
- It is impossible for humans to construct a machine to predict the future with perfect accuracy, or
- Humans are incapable of making the choice to not follow the prediction
Both of these potential conclusions have very profound consequences, one annihilating the very concept of free will and the other placing fundamental limits on our capacity to understand the universe.
How has this paradox been addressed, and what are the canonical views of its implications?