Determinism and Deterministic
Question 1What means deterministic (Determinism)?
Question 2Is our world deterministic?
Question 3Is our world completely controlled by physical laws?
Question 4Does the concept "deterministic" improve our understanding ?
Question 5Is there any relation between the concept "deterministic" and "Free will" ?
Question 6What 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
The problem with this definition is that it consists of two definitions marked a and b.
This is confusing. It requires every time when you use the word deterministic that you have to specify which definition you mean: a or b
IMO you can not mean both.
Definition (b) includes two new concepts: "taking place accordant" and "natural laws". Those concept have to be explained.
Answer question 2
Consider the following question: Is our world beautifull?
The same problem also exist with this question under discussion.
- Suppose you say: Yes. What "value" has that answer? What do you learn? Do you become any wiser?
- Suppose you answer: Some parts "yes", some parts "no". Such an answer at least allows you to investigate deeper.
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
The concept "Free will" improves our understanding. It tells us that we do certain things in the way we select.
Newton's Law describes the movement of the planets and more. It does not describe everything. For Example, Newton's Law does not tell us how many planets there are.
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".
- 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.
- 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
You can not describe the world in all its complexity with some simple sentences.
The concept "Deterministic" can never be used as an argument for something.
Created: 10 April 2000
Modified 14 August 2008
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