Determinism and Deterministic

Question 1

What means deterministic (Determinism)?

Question 2

Is our world deterministic?

Question 3

Is our world completely controlled by physical laws?

Question 4

Does the concept "deterministic" improve our understanding ?

Question 5

Is there any relation between the concept "deterministic" and "Free will" ?

Question 6

What is the solution of the conflict between "deterministic" and "Free will" ?


Accordingly to Webster determinism means:
The theory that all occurences in nature are (a) determined by antecedent causes or (b) take place in accordance with natural laws.


I am already involved with determinism when I was roughly 10 years of age. When the world is deterministic, in the sense that our world is fully controlled by physical laws, then we have no free will. In my opinion, even when I was young, both are not true.
Already during my youth, I realized, that the problem very much depents about definitions.

Answer question 1

See Description above

Answer question 2

Consider the following question: Is our world beautifull?
The same problem also exist with this question under discussion.

Answer question 3

Our world, the universe evolves on its own.
Laws are only descriptions of the way the universe behaves. Laws, in no way, influence what happens in our world. That does not mean that every thing can happen. There are limitations.

Answer question 4


Answer question 5

The problem is many people claim: Yes. Their argument is that our world is deterministic, meaning that all is controlled by physical laws. The consequence is that we can not have a "free will".
There are two problems . Which are those physical laws and what is the definition of "free will".
  1. The physical law most often mentioned is Newton's law. The problem with Newton's law is how do you demonstrate that you can use this law to describe all. IMO that is impossible.
  2. The problem with "free will" is that most people do not define "free will". They claim that "free will" is an illusion, because the world is deterministic. For more information about this subject go to Free will

Answer question 6

The best solution to solve the conflict between determinsitic and "Free will" is not to use the word deterministic any longer. The word deterministic should only be used from a historic perspective. Our world is not deterministic. We can not describe our world, the total universe by any set of laws, nor by a concept like action is reaction. The last is much to vaque.
When you remove the word deterministic the word "Free will" (meaning that we ourself can select something, using our brains) becomes much easier to accept.
When you accept ""Free will" immediate also the isue of responsability is solved. Yes we are responsable for our actions.
When you do not use the word deterministic you also need the word "compatibilism". For more detail goto compatibilism

Reflection part 1

The bigest problem with determistic is, that its believers think that the world is controlled by physical laws, without specifying exactly what those physical laws are, nor what controlled means. In a sense you replace one vaque concept by another vaque concept.
The next, disturbing, step then becomes that we start using the concept without truelly knowing and agreeing what we all mean.

Reflection part 2



Created: 10 April 2000
Modified 14 August 2008

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