Determinism And Free Will

Recently, I read an article called Your Move: The Maze of Free Will, which discusses the concepts of determinism and free will; it focuses on the notion that despite having free will, and regardless whether our lives are pre-determined or not, we are not ultimately responsible for our actions. And as interesting as I found this article to be, it inspired me to delve into this whole idea of determinism.

So, what exactly is determinism? Galen Strawson, the author of the above-mentioned article, defines it as follows:

“The theory that absolutely everything that happens is causally determined to happen exactly as it does by what has already gone before — right back to the beginning of the universe.”

And, if I understood correctly, this quote pretty much summarizes that our lives are pre-determined and that everything occurs in a series of chain reactions — or in other words, through what is called the domino effect.

However, what I am aiming to understand is whether this concept is true; because if so, then that would mean that everything, including the thoughts in our heads, or the ray of light entering our eyes, can be traced back to a single point in the universe (of course, not necessarily the absolute beginning per se). This, as a result contradicts humans having any iota of free will to begin with, because without evidence of any truly random activities or occurances in the universe, there is no space for actual free will, as we know it. This is because every movement, thought, emotion, etc. will be explained by a cause, and that cause has a cause, etc. Thus, it can ALL be traced back to a previous agent. Now if that’s the case then it means that no matter what we do, it was (for lack of a better term) destined to happen, similar to the way the initial explosion (Big Bang) happened (the trajectory, speed, contents, heat, etc.).

Therefore, determinism openly contradicts free will. And not only that, but from a religious standpoint, it is even more contradictory, because it blatantly undermines the whole concept of heaven and hell. Although, it’s true that determinism was initially tied to the ancient belief in a divine deity, and that it was further believed that the whole world was deterministic, as in believing that God controlled each and every facet of the past, present, and future. But, at the same time, if our lives were pre-determined by God, then whatever we do, immoral or moral, would not matter, because God has already pre-determined our ultimate destinies. Hence, the world is not a “test” anymore, as most Abrahamic religions tend to believe. The “test” notion completely contradicts determinism, because in order for the world to be a “test” from God, humans will need to have free will. This, in turn, means that we need to have the freedom to do whatever we want, how ever we want, and have complete precedence over our actions, keeping in mind that we have to pass the “test” set up by God, in order to get into His good books, and hence make it into heaven — a Utopian world that everyone ultimately wishes and aims for.

Personally, I believe that obdurate determinism is a bunch of bull. Yet, on the other hand, determinism that is more yielding (dependent on the passage of time) makes more sense. While quantum physics states that people create their own realities, it also hasn’t managed to prove that determinism is false. Absolute determinism claims that our entire experience is an illusion; however to simply state that is an extraordinary claim. And it, in turn, requires extraordinary evidence. But there is no evidence to support that claim. None whatsoever.

On the flip side, I don’t believe that human behavioural actions, moral or immoral, are necessarily objectively random either. While it may be pre-determined, through forces of the universe and through the law of attraction; such behaviours and outcomes are not necessarily stagnant – meaning that (contrary to popular belief) we DO have the power to take control of something that may have already been initially pre-determined, and use time as a modus operandi to change it. So, time, in this aspect, is key. Of course, this is all without our knowing beforehand about what is to come; but because we have the ability to create our own realities, we too have the intuitive ability to control our lives just by simply living it.

So, to conclude, free will doesn’t necessarily mean total immunity from causality. Rather,  we are subjects to – and masters of – causality. And this can be done simply by understanding, anticipating, and using causality as a basis upon which we do our bidding in every facet of our lives.

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3 responses to “Determinism And Free Will

  1. Pingback: On The Inferiority Of Women In Classical Greek Philosophy « SesapZai – Artist. Poet. Writer.·

  2. Of course we don’t have free-will.

    The scientific evidence is crystal clear on this.

    I find it funny that people freely question the evidence on free-will but then have an issue with people who question the evidence on evolution even though evolution requires a magical type of determinism and the scientific evidence supporting evolution is extraordinarily weak and fragile in comparison to the evidence telling us that there’s no free-will.

    The issues, gaps, and problems with evolution are much bigger than the issues with the hypothesis that we don’t have free-will.

    Atheists, being foolish don’t even realize that non-determinism falsifies evolution, ROFL!

  3. All of the atheists I’ve spoken to who believe in evolution also believe in free-will and don’t understand how non-determinism falsifies evolution, ROFL!

    Polls show that 79% of evolutionary biologists believe in free-will even though non-determinism falsifies evolution..ROFL…Evolutionists in general are stupid people.

    Almost all of the evidence supporting evolution = Imaginations and speculations (things not experimentally verified as accurate)

    Almost all of the evidence telling us that free-will is non-existent = hard evidence based on repeatable experiments and direct observations (the most concrete forms of evidence in science)

    Yet atheists and evolutionists have no issue with questioning the evidence on free-will but an issue with people who question the evidence on evolution…ROFL,..,this proves that evolutionists don’t care about evidence.

    It shows you their anti-science reasoning and how evidence doesn’t matter to them…the reason why they believe in evolution isn’t because of evidence it’s because they’re biased towards evolution.

    It’s pretty funny to talk to evolutionists who believe in free-will and don’t understand how non-determinism falsifies evolution. If any of your vital organs behave in a non-deterministic manner then you have a high chance of dropping dead! If environments become disorderly then species have a high chance of becoming extinct!

    What happens with just a little bit of disorder is that evolution is falsified, things wouldn’t evolve, they would instead become extinct overtime. That’s why entropy is one of the main criticisms of evolution that’s dismissed by “evolutionists” with science fiction ideas.

    I don’t consider imaginations and speculations to be equivalent to scientific evidence.

    Evolution isn’t even a real scientific theory, it’s just a science fiction story. Evolutionists are lucky that evolution is protected like a religious belief rather than treated the same as any other theory open to criticism and scrutiny.

    The reason why I believe that evolution is false because of the evidence.
    The reason why I believe that free-will is non-existent is because of the evidence.

    I go strictly by evidence.

    There aren’t any evolutionists who value evidence.
    Enough said.

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