“Determinism is the general philosophical thesis that states for everything that happens there are conditions such that, given them, nothing else could happen.
“Libertarianism, argues that free will is logically incompatible with a deterministic universe and that agents have free will, and therefore determinism is false.”
I am not a philosopher and don’t think as one. I observe behaviors and attempt to understand the causes and effects. It is impossible for me to “see” value systems; therefore, I look at attitudes, beliefs, customs, and traditions in order to understand another’s values. I call this “ABCTV”: What attitude does one hold? What is the person’s belief system? What customs influence one? What traditions maintain and perpetuate values?
For example, a baby born to parents that hold attitudes of racial superiority, and the institutions of society, i.e. family, church, education, law and law enforcement, and politics, may share those values. The probability of the individual baby growing into a racist adult is high.
Given the value of racism continues generation after generation unless something intervenes, an individual has the capacity to think and reason; new evidence may enable him/her to change the value of racism to another value system.
Therefore, determinism, free will, and libertarianism are situational.
I believe the implications of living in a determined world are great - they change the way that we view events.
In a world with free will - any one say that they could have done other than what they did - which leads to regret, blame, ultimate power to have done differently.
Also there is no evidence that we have contra causal free will - the ability to do other than what we did.
As far as I understand physicists agree that we live in a deterministic world - with the possibility of randomness as the sub atomic level, based on quantum mechanics.
We all think different due to our different circumstances. We all see the world in a different light, with different tools to guide us.
For me the bottom line is about well-being. The well-being of all. It doesn't matter than there was a big bang, or there will be a heat death of the entire universe. What matters is that I have well being and that I assist others around me to maximise their well being. I see compassion as being the key to this - I don't practise this always - I am a product of my own genes, environment, education, upbringing etc. The determinants in my life lead to me behave as I do - I couldn't have done other than what I did - and so I can have self compassion and self acceptance for this - which will assist my own well being - and I can do the same for others.
And I see determinism as potentially fostering a "it doesn't MATTER what I do, because what I do is already fixed" mindset, a defeatist and fatalist attitude which I will have no part of.
KEEP it. I'll pass.
Me too - that would be a terrible attitude to have -
Determinism holds that every thing and event is a natural and integral part of the interconnected universe. From the perspective of determinism, every event in nature is the result of (determined by) prior/coexisting events. Every event is a confluence of influences. While determinism regards humans as "one with" the unfolding matrix of the natural universe, supernaturalism and fatalism regard humans as existing outside of this system.
Most humans are supernaturalists; they believe that humans have "free will" which causes events in the natural world but is not caused by them. And most humans will defend their "free will" without second thought to the evidence for (or benefits of) alternative explanations.
Fatalism too is a supernatural belief system which holds humans outside the natural matrix. In direct contrast to the most common form of supernaturalism (belief in free will), however, fatalism holds that the natural world causes events in human life but is not itself influenced by human will or behavior. No matter what you do, the same things will happen to you.
The fatalist position is that "if I do not have free will, then my life is totally determined by the outside world, therefore my beliefs and desires have no effect on the outside world, and therefore no matter what I do the same things will happen to me". Of course, it is empirically demonstrable that our behavior affects the environment and thus what happens to us (see "How Determinists Cross the Street," below). While many otherwise rational people believe in the supernaturalism of free will, no rational person believes in fatalism. It is only used as a "straw man": by accepting the false premise that fatalism is the only alternative to free will, one can discard both fatalism and determinism without further thought, and comfortably assume that free will is proven.
Fortunately, fatalism is neither the logical extension of determinism nor the only alternative to free will. Determinism holds that human thoughts, beliefs and behaviors are just as much a part of the natural universe as thunderclouds. They can be seen as either results of previous conditions or causes of subsequent conditions, but the fact is that they are part of a larger process that began with the big bang and will continue for the life of the cosmos.
As I said before ... SEZ YOU. You can sell determinism until you're breathless, but I ain't buyin'.
Period, end of discussion.
Jeremy, this subject is very imaginative. An alien will want to play god only if he finds that we are fools enough to accept him as a god. We are slowly rejecting the reigning power of gods created by us. Why should we be fools enough to accept a more real reigning power if we know how much damage our own imagination has done. This real god, in all probability, will be even a more damaging god. Let no one among us believe that he could be a benevolent god. History tells that all foreigners want to rule indigenous people.
Its actually a reasonable question and not at all silly or juvenile. Also it is scientifically usefull. Early astronomers used these types of mental experiments to come to clearer explanations or planatery orbits...even Einstien used this method to define the theory of relativity....if we could do without god...would we / you like it to end in an instant and with no repercussions? It's such a good question that I can't truly make up my mind thither! A part of me would like to wipe all ideas of worshipping a deity off the face of the earth...but later I think that if this can only be done artificially with outside aid as it were then maybe we are not yet able to support ourselves...or a Carl Sagan might have assumed, we are still too immature!
Kindly accept my apologies for using a wrong name.
Can't violate the Prime Directive.
No- I believe in the Prime Directive of non interference with other life forms.