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techstepgenr8tion
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09 Feb 2016, 7:17 am

EnTiTyZ wrote:
i personally have never found a way to resolve this, so freewill or not it's pointless even trying to think about it and becomes a point of procrastination, life happens if you like it or not, i'm quite content with this view some people will find it disconcerting .

I think the reason freewill becomes as much, perhaps even more, of a sacred cow than religion and deity is that so many people get deflated at the thought of determinism and take the understanding to mean that it all becomes futility or that they reflexively are now oppressed by their worst fears in believing it.

Determinism would include any type of impulse - including love, creativity, transcendentalism, cultivating strengths, integrities, and virtues just as much as it would include falling into problems when you simply weren't aware of them. Determinism is not the same thing as nihilism.

My analysis of the touchy-feely in this is that the person you decided was you based on your likes and dislikes was something you were given - you didn't choose it. Thus the confusion creeps in, since you've claim them, that you originated them or in some way in the present actively originate them - which you clearly don't. Many people spend their lives fine-honing and fine-tuning their preferences and tuning their lives accordingly to those preferences; that's optimizing and it's great, it also in no way implies free will - free agency perhaps to the extent that you can follow that program unharassed and uncoerced - but again oppression is a complexity, and the existence of it or the lack of it doesn't designate free will vs. lack thereof.

Really oppression if anything is a significant protraction of one's options. Optimal liberty would be knowing every option you have to then pursue the best one - this is part of why people might say that education, knowledge, and wisdom can set people free if they apply it right.

Everything is environmental queues - both external and internal and those queue fall in line, for those of us enjoying physical life right now (or not as much), within a temporal construct where everything unfolds from cause to effect. To look at divine revelation even - one could from the materialist standpoint speculate some type of protein or chemical failure whose causes were just as much set in crystallized amber of time as what would be if actual divine revelation came if one would assume it to exist - ie. that there is a precisely right moment where a person is in the right state to start the right work and receive the right kind of influence from and reaction to that revelation.


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09 Feb 2016, 8:54 am

It seems to me that our entire discussion here - indeed, most of the endeavours that make up human culture and civilisation - is premised on our being conscious, thoughtful persons able to reflect and consider and choose. I always come back to that. In that sense, though I do enjoy arguing (or plain discussing and considering) the toss, any such talk on the matter is meaningless.

Even the idea of it being a sacred cow - of there being able to be sacred cows - relies on such premises. It is this intentionality, the 'aboutness' feature of our consciousness, that we don't just receive sense data but 'look outward' in an aware, reaching 'causally upstream' fashion that allows for free will.

(And suffice to say that, just as some defend or even cling to sacred cows for their being sacred cows, others attack or dismiss them solely for that reason. Neither positions say anything about the matter at hand)

I don't think that because free will exists within a person who has a history and a biology and a subconscious etc this somehow negates or lessens that free will. Rather, free will could only meaningfully exist in such a context. Just as there is no view from nowhere, so there is no free will outside of a conscious being to make use of it. I think, in practise, we recognise all these things. There are choices I can make which, to others, seem quite in character. And there are ones I can make which would puzzle those who know me.

I consider free will - which I define as the ability to make one choice when we could also make another - as coming from our conscious selves which are, for want of a better word, fractured. Conflicted. Particularly so when we bring in the sub/unconscious. We are not simple, coherent creatures, striving with singular purpose. Two or more possible choices may strongly appeal, and we may be wracked with indecision as we try and work out which is the best. We may later regret the decision we made.

That it is commonly understood that outside or unconscious forces influence our choices only serves to underline that we do make choices.

(ETA - this is all more scattered than I'd like. I shall try and refrain from jumping in just to repeat myself, instead working on responses that better address specific points raised)


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09 Feb 2016, 12:58 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
I'm going to try this a different way.

Proposition: what I eat at dinner tonight, how I eat it, and what time I finish was decided at the big bang.


If that's a naive assumption what details or arguments destroy it?


What might the word "decided" mean to you in this case? I imagine you're trying to say all future events were put in place by the specific random nature of the event, and that after this point everything was set in motion, never to vary from the "programmed" semi-random path?

And that there were no further cosmic outside events that would have any effect on the actions "spun out" by the first "creation" event????

And how would you know if there were/are any events that happened at any time in the past?

And why would they have to be "cosmic" events? And why would they have to happen in the remote past? We know very little of the Universe to make assumptions, yet it's the nature of humans to try.

Or perhaps you dispute the possibility of such random events happening? Or that there may be another level of "creation" beyond ours that you may now call the "real" origin of every event that happens??? Or perhaps there's another universe beyond that universe that effected the universe before it and then.........? More questions to remain forever unanswered. (Reductio ad absurdum (Latin: "reduction to absurdity"; pl.: reductiones ad absurdum), also known as argumentum ad absurdum (Latin: "argument to absurdity") To base a philosophy on items that are impossible to discuss is the real "absurdum" in my book.

In terms of myself and my life and my present Universe, life appears random enough to me. And what works for me is more important than a discussion that can not be proved or disproved.

EDIT: To add the absurdum point.



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09 Feb 2016, 7:29 pm

Hopper wrote:
It seems to me that our entire discussion here - indeed, most of the endeavours that make up human culture and civilisation - is premised on our being conscious, thoughtful persons able to reflect and consider and choose. I always come back to that. In that sense, though I do enjoy arguing (or plain discussing and considering) the toss, any such talk on the matter is meaningless.


I'll leave you to it then. You believe what you believe and you're happy with it.


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09 Feb 2016, 7:34 pm

I can't help but believe that only the ultimate source has anything resembling free will, and even that is not iron-clad.



techstepgenr8tion
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09 Feb 2016, 7:38 pm

ZenDen wrote:
What might the word "decided" mean to you in this case? I imagine you're trying to say all future events were put in place by the specific random nature of the event, and that after this point everything was set in motion, never to vary from the "programmed" semi-random path?

I guess that might have been a little misleading on my part as it runs on the assumption that the big bang was the generator of everything we interact with - which is an untested conclusion.

ZenDen wrote:
And that there were no further cosmic outside events that would have any effect on the actions "spun out" by the first "creation" event????

Technically I tend to think that no matter how many outside events cut through, no matter how much the quantum foam might sprinkle random chatter through everything - play it forward from time marker 1 to time marker 2 it will unfold the exact same way. In a way what I ate tonight and will eat tomorrow as still decided at the Big Bang, all other future details included

ZenDen wrote:
And how would you know if there were/are any events that happened at any time in the past?

And why would they have to be "cosmic" events? And why would they have to happen in the remote past? We know very little of the Universe to make assumptions, yet it's the nature of humans to try.

Or perhaps you dispute the possibility of such random events happening? Or that there may be another level of "creation" beyond ours that you may now call the "real" origin of every event that happens??? Or perhaps there's another universe beyond that universe that effected the universe before it and then.........? More questions to remain forever unanswered. (Reductio ad absurdum (Latin: "reduction to absurdity"; pl.: reductiones ad absurdum), also known as argumentum ad absurdum (Latin: "argument to absurdity") To base a philosophy on items that are impossible to discuss is the real "absurdum" in my book.

In terms of myself and my life and my present Universe, life appears random enough to me. And what works for me is more important than a discussion that can not be proved or disproved.

EDIT: To add the absurdum point.

I guess my point really isn't changed by fixity or randomness - what happens in time is exactly what was going to happen in time, regardless of whether or not we have the capacity to grasp all of the mechanisms. A random shower of particles through my brain also wouldn't make me freer - ie. it would be just as much an external influence.


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techstepgenr8tion
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09 Feb 2016, 7:57 pm

One thing I'd reiterate - choice as a process is something that I believe in. Just that... well... it's a process like the fall of rain or a river running it's course downhill (or at least closer to the core of the earth as indeed some rivers do 'seem' to run uphill). Determinism doesn't automatically imply unconscious nihilistic existence, for whatever reason we're conditioned to think that way but it seems like that's really a fleeting impression when you look at it under closer examination.

I had a night off from martial arts, had dinner and decided to top dinner off with my last bottle of Not Your Father's Root Beer. I was debating it with myself, hemming and hawing a little at the possibility that there were things I wanted to to do tonight that drinking an alcoholic beverage could provide some interference with and so I decided just to drink it earlier. The whole process felt like a decision, it was really a process of reasoning and weighing all of the factors of "I want a hard root beer" against "Would I rather do something else?" and "Can I still sneak it in if I time it right?". As complex as such decisions, albeit small in the face of larger decisions, may seem - I can consider my states, my wants and desires at a fixed moment of time, who I am and that I happen to like Not Your Father's Root Beer, and that nothing was so time-sensitive that I had to say "Nope, has to wait for another night" - which if there was, I'm not a lush, I would have said no.

As it stands I'm happily finishing that root beer right now as I type this and from my moment of procuring the root beer from my counter to finishing it I'd contest that there was no free will involved. Free agency? Yes - nothing got in my way, I was able to do what I wanted to do which is have a root beer. Similarly no one put me in a triangle lock or chicken-wing arm lock and forced it down my hatch. Was it my free will to drink it? No, because this all follows a chain of preferences that may have mutated or become liberalized in some ways since my childhood (for example I used to hate sour kraut and olives, now I've gotten accustomed to both) and certain things less liberal (ie. I'm not one to usually to load up on candy anymore) but ultimately it's the same starting block - which perhaps is me but doesn't come from me, rather I'm either simply experiencing it (ie. soul in body) or it's what 'I' am fundamentally made of (ie. reductive materialism).

Do I constantly, every day, and almost every waking moment of the day, feel like my mind is doing everything from flowering out along lists of new options to probe them all and prune back the items I don't choose to digging back to juicy or scary bits the past or looking forward either with optimism or foreboding depending on the days events and mood? Sure. None of that to me means free will, I take it as just very lively and complex determinism. Time is that amber that fossilizes everything in a given context and accordingly our lives are the DVD, my now moment is the present play point, I don't have a rewind, might have a fast-forward if I'm dumb enough to use it, but otherwise what will happen to me 10 years from now is part of one five-dimensional object, ie. My Life, and any point I experience along my own time line is just a four dimensional cross-section of that five dimensional object.


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09 Feb 2016, 8:31 pm

^^^what is your "fast-forward"?



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09 Feb 2016, 8:36 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
Hopper wrote:
It seems to me that our entire discussion here - indeed, most of the endeavours that make up human culture and civilisation - is premised on our being conscious, thoughtful persons able to reflect and consider and choose. I always come back to that. In that sense, though I do enjoy arguing (or plain discussing and considering) the toss, any such talk on the matter is meaningless.


I'll leave you to it then. You believe what you believe and you're happy with it.


Fair do's. I can't really improve on what I originally said way back anyway.

From where I am, and from things you've said on here on other matters, our perspectives seem pretty close - I think that's why I feel a more personal frustration over such a difference of opinion, whereas with others its just the usual frustration of trying to be clear on what they're saying and on making my own points clear.


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Of course, it's probably quite a bit more complicated than that.

You know sometimes, between the dames and the horses, I don't even know why I put my hat on.


techstepgenr8tion
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09 Feb 2016, 8:55 pm

auntblabby wrote:
^^^what is your "fast-forward"?

Wasting time - TV, videogames, getting high, etc., and all the stuff I could bypass large swaths of my 'now' currency with.


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10 Feb 2016, 2:10 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
ZenDen wrote:
What might the word "decided" mean to you in this case? I imagine you're trying to say all future events were put in place by the specific random nature of the event, and that after this point everything was set in motion, never to vary from the "programmed" semi-random path?

I guess that might have been a little misleading on my part as it runs on the assumption that the big bang was the generator of everything we interact with - which is an untested conclusion.

ZenDen wrote:
And that there were no further cosmic outside events that would have any effect on the actions "spun out" by the first "creation" event????

Technically I tend to think that no matter how many outside events cut through, no matter how much the quantum foam might sprinkle random chatter through everything - play it forward from time marker 1 to time marker 2 it will unfold the exact same way. In a way what I ate tonight and will eat tomorrow as still decided at the Big Bang, all other future details included

ZenDen wrote:
And how would you know if there were/are any events that happened at any time in the past?

And why would they have to be "cosmic" events? And why would they have to happen in the remote past? We know very little of the Universe to make assumptions, yet it's the nature of humans to try.

Or perhaps you dispute the possibility of such random events happening? Or that there may be another level of "creation" beyond ours that you may now call the "real" origin of every event that happens??? Or perhaps there's another universe beyond that universe that effected the universe before it and then.........? More questions to remain forever unanswered. (Reductio ad absurdum (Latin: "reduction to absurdity"; pl.: reductiones ad absurdum), also known as argumentum ad absurdum (Latin: "argument to absurdity") To base a philosophy on items that are impossible to discuss is the real "absurdum" in my book.

In terms of myself and my life and my present Universe, life appears random enough to me. And what works for me is more important than a discussion that can not be proved or disproved.

EDIT: To add the absurdum point.

I guess my point really isn't changed by fixity or randomness - what happens in time is exactly what was going to happen in time, regardless of whether or not we have the capacity to grasp all of the mechanisms. A random shower of particles through my brain also wouldn't make me freer - ie. it would be just as much an external influence.


You posit a fixed universe where identical actions always cause identical reactions. In other words...if the person who spilled hot chocolate on me in the hall yesterday comes down the hall toward me again I'll have learned from my previous experience and try to avoid him this time. And if this happened an infinite number of times I would always try to avoid another accident....right? But anything" that changed this routine (from outside our universe) would then be another influence we would have to decide how to personally handle (whether we were aware it was new or changing or not) which would negate your theory.

You said: "I guess my point really isn't changed by fixity or randomness - what happens in time is exactly what was going to happen in time, regardless of whether or not we have the capacity to grasp all of the mechanisms." A bold statement, and totally unproven in any manner I'm aware of.

So this would lead me to believe your concept of time means time is fixed and not associated with a beginning nor a chain of events and just popped into being? So you believe time has no beginning? There are those that would disagree; there is nothing settled about the beginning of time.

And, frankly, even if there were, what we believe now is only the "preferred flavor of the decade. Which is what you base your theory upon. We learn from our experiences and random factors disrupt the chain-or-events you propose. The "unevenness" displayed by the , so called, Big Bang event is evidence there are factors we don't understand about our universe....events certainly not known when determinism was proposed.

And you say: "I guess my point really isn't changed by fixity or randomness - what happens in time is exactly what was going to happen in time, regardless of whether or not we have the capacity to grasp all of the mechanisms."

The concept of an "outside" truly random event entering your closed universe (at any time, including the present) means your closed universe has changed. Wiggle about all you wish, by trying to include ALL other outside possibilities in your theory, but there's no way you can include the unknown because you're only aware of the natural rules of this universe, and no other.

So now YOU can prove the negative further if you wish.

Or perhaps you could say that: IF the beginning of the Universe "were unchanging" and the universe were "not affected by outside events" then...etc...etc..?



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10 Feb 2016, 9:48 pm

ZenDen wrote:
You posit a fixed universe where identical actions always cause identical reactions. In other words...if the person who spilled hot chocolate on me in the hall yesterday comes down the hall toward me again I'll have learned from my previous experience and try to avoid him this time. And if this happened an infinite number of times I would always try to avoid another accident....right? But anything" that changed this routine (from outside our universe) would then be another influence we would have to decide how to personally handle (whether we were aware it was new or changing or not) which would negate your theory.

You're *sort of* thinking about it now in the right direction but the only problem I have with your analogy is that you're extending temporally into reactions on other days.

You could react in any number of ways the next time a person who spilled hot chocolate on you in the hallway walks passed you again on closed quarters with food or a beverage. I wouldn't make specific claims about your follow up reactions, how long your alert around them would stay up before you realized that it was a novel situation (or that they were as a rule accident prone and in that case you did need to watch out from them from then on). My suggestion would simply be this - the stretch of time that you entered the hallway with them, the hot chocolate altercation occurred, up through the time where you both left that hallway - you could play that exact stretch of time over 10, 1,000, 1,000,000,000,000 times over, and to rewind time and play it back would be akin to playing back a video monitor - actually might tighter in correlation because even a video monitor would have some kind of noise (ie. you can't ever replicate anything over precisely at a different moment, you can come close, the only hypothetical perfect carbon copy would be going back to a fixed point in time and replaying what occurred). You could replay your scenario and your shirt or pants would have the exact same spill-mark in the exact same shape and would be the exact same range of temperatures when you left the hallway at time-point b. Your mood and thoughts, their mood and thoughts, would be carbon-copy identical on every replay both at point a and point b.

When I see that I can't help but consider - rain, shine, extradimensional interference, all of it freezes in time and thus you can realize that the hallway altercation, if it was one minute, was a subset of a cut of time that's an hour long that the same rules would apply for. That would be a subset of a week-long block that the same rule applied for, and you could extrapolate that out into months, years, centuries, millenia, really eternity so long as time is in play.

I will admit that my argument is tautological and untestable but at the same time - I cannot conceive of an acausal event or an uncaused-cause either in the environment or in human behavior. To that extent it's not just plausible and cogent, it seems as inescapable as a best-hypothesis as multiverse theory for explaining the fine-tuning of the universe. Neither can be proved but both seem phenomenally difficult to replace with something stronger.


ZenDen wrote:
You said: "I guess my point really isn't changed by fixity or randomness - what happens in time is exactly what was going to happen in time, regardless of whether or not we have the capacity to grasp all of the mechanisms." A bold statement, and totally unproven in any manner I'm aware of.

So this would lead me to believe your concept of time means time is fixed and not associated with a beginning nor a chain of events and just popped into being? So you believe time has no beginning? There are those that would disagree; there is nothing settled about the beginning of time.

I do agree with people who'd suggest that if absolutely nothing was happening and a place was completely empty that there'd be no bearing for or way to qualify time. For better or worse such places generally aren't accessible and if they were we'd be something in it. So, I'd agree that the fuel for articulation of time is space, energy, and as a subset of energy matter. Heh, truthfully I can't help right now, forgive me for the side track, of thinking of Dion Fortune's description of Binah (ie. the sphere of Saturn in the Tree of Life) - it's something like an implied engine that doesn't seem to have any characteristics until the fuel is put in it, and from there it can be seen by it's articulating effect (the fuel in her case being the undivided energy of Chokmah). One could consider it Hadit spreading out into Nuit of they're Thelemically inclined as well.



ZenDen wrote:
And, frankly, even if there were, what we believe now is only the "preferred flavor of the decade. Which is what you base your theory upon. We learn from our experiences and random factors disrupt the chain-or-events you propose. The "unevenness" displayed by the , so called, Big Bang event is evidence there are factors we don't understand about our universe....events certainly not known when determinism was proposed.

I wouldn't know how to either qualify or disqualify the flavor of the decade comment - if there is one, ie. if you're talking fads and trends in human, animal, plant, rock, or going back up in the other direction daemon, angel, archangel, etc. behavior you'd perhaps be looking at the personality of the core of all things, if it has anything we could even understand as consciousness - IT's 'flavor of the decade' on Earth is at least what we'd be experiencing.

What I conceded to you earlier is that I can't help but look at this as all one thing, as a consequence whether the big bang was the source of all dynamics that ever were or will be in play might make my initial lead-in question a bit frail (which I think you did bring up the obvious objection that if we had a perfect map of the big bang a microsecond after it hit and knew exactly what it should do and why if uninterfered with we'd ultimately be wrong in our calculations if there were other factors - just that I'd see these factors as being just as frozen in time and just as part of a predestined structure, or - I like how I said this earlier as it's the most brief and tidy way of saying - thinking of the universe we experience as a 5 dimensional object that we're experiencing constant cross-sections of in a 4 dimensional model).

I hope that doesn't sound like a dodge - really its that you'd be right if I'd claimed up front that I could predict what I'd eat yesterday based solely on the information that was in the big bang only if other factors are involved. Similarly I'd be right that all factors involved would still be a part of the structure of time.

I know there's more that you said that I didn't quote but I feel like I at least answered a lot of the further comments. :)


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Last edited by techstepgenr8tion on 10 Feb 2016, 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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10 Feb 2016, 9:51 pm

One footnote - I'd properly consider my closed-universe to be the infinite set. If anything I'd just apologize for starting with a trite click-bate type question. With the response rate that my posts usually get I realized that I had to go that route just to get a dialog like this started.


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10 Feb 2016, 10:26 pm

A slightly more humorous scenario off of yours - one that just had me in stitches while I was meditating and messed up my routine a bit:

You could run into that person, have hot cocoa spilled on you, and the next time you see them you could indeed have an absolutely irrational response. You might go back to your desk with was-hot-now-cold cocoa all over your shirt, put in your earbuds and hear Imagine by the Beetles, at which point a strange sort of earth-day kumbaya spirit overtakes you and you feel utterly selfish for having only been a receiver rather than an equal giver. So - next time you see them you have a cup of hot cocoa as well, grab their arm, give them a big squeeze of a hug and share a moment of mutual hot cocoa-wearing solidarity. In that case - they're now wary of you! They're somewhat unsure from that point forward what subtle thing could trigger a Tyson-Holyfield episode out of you and by their own standards they have very good looking ears.

All of that would link you, them, hot cocoa, and Imagine by the Beetles as joints and angles of the crystal and probably with the right angel, diva, or whatever caused that malicious mayhem looking at their handiwork, saying "Awe...", and sealing it with a kiss on the cheek. True, I'd like to think that our lives have more charitable guardians but when I watch the news I realize that going crazy and squeezing hot-cocoa into a coworker seems like it could be one of the more pleasant things that could happen when compared to being born under communism, totalitarian-theocratic law, being set up to either have a rendezvous with a serial killer or to be one, etc. etc..


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12 Feb 2016, 10:35 am

My view of your determinism:

You stand in the present looking backward in time (BIG bang or not) and you begin by looking at the state of the universe (in it's totality) 1 microsecond earlier than present (actually the duration is much smaller...approaching infinitely small) and you say our present universe will always be a result of this specific and exact condition.

And I agree with you.

Then you look even further back in time and you observe the state of the universe 1 microsecond (etc.) earlier and declare "this" state of the universe must always create the following interval, which we already examined and declared the precursor to the present moment.

And you feel this "inspection" could be carried as far back in time as necessary to show we, and our "choices" are merely a consequence of past history.

But what does this mean? Determinism is not predictive in the sense it can not be used to predict any future action...it can only be used to view the past.

So when an individual views the past in order to decide how best to go forward he/she (in other words) makes a choice, using his/her past experiences as a guide (to interpret the past). And if circumstances are the same will make the same decision. And if later in the day this person finds some feature of the past (or their interpretation of the past) has now changed there may be a different course chosen.

But you say that because the state of the Universe is NOT under our control we are merely followers of the past, but let me point out we DO effect our past through our actions. You seem to reiterate the past is NOT under our control and is immutable, but ignore the fact "The Past" is created also by our past choices and actions. This is what also makes us individuals.

So you say the past was a sequence of actions and choices....I agree....but it's obvious the future begins with the actions you take NOW.

No time now...I'll be back.



ZenDen
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12 Feb 2016, 1:13 pm

From Wikipedia:
"Determinism is the philosophical position that for every event, including human interactions, there exist conditions that could cause no other event. "There are many determinisms, depending on what pre-conditions are considered to be determinative of an event or action."[1] Deterministic theories throughout the history of philosophy have sprung from diverse and sometimes overlapping motives and considerations. Some forms of determinism can be empirically tested with ideas from physics and the philosophy of physics. The opposite of determinism is some kind of indeterminism (otherwise called nondeterminism). Determinism is often contrasted with free will.[2]

Determinism often is taken to mean causal determinism, which in physics is known as cause-and-effect. It is the concept that events within a given paradigm are bound by causality in such a way that any state (of an object or event) is completely determined by prior states. This meaning can be distinguished from other varieties of determinism mentioned below.

Other debates often concern the scope of determined systems, with some maintaining that the entire universe is a single determinate system and others identifying other more limited determinate systems (or multiverse). Numerous historical debates involve many philosophical positions and varieties of determinism. They include debates concerning determinism and free will, technically denoted as compatibilistic (allowing the two to coexist) and incompatibilistic (denying their coexistence is a possibility).

Determinism should not be confused with self-determination of human actions by reasons, motives, and desires. Determinism rarely requires that perfect prediction be practically possible."

So (I'll use my hot chocolate experiment) I look backward through my immediate future and recognize the person coming toward me with his hot chocolate. And then...in an act known as creation (ha ha) I lightly step away and avoid getting spilled upon a second time. I've used my ability to view the past, in all it's complexity, and decided to take a different past forward. self-determination

You see then this aspect of determinism is created by my conscious actions. So you will say something like: "And if you played out this scenario an infinite number of times it would always be the same", and I would say "As long as I don't want hot chocolate spilled on me it will." I've now created and determined my own future which will change my future and my future actions.

So the fact there are predetermined conditions presented to me before I make a choice, and the fact my previous choices and actions are included in those predetermined conditions means I am free to interpret and use the past to my advantage. Indeed, if I increase my understanding of previous facts I will use this information to better my lot in life, as do all animals...nothing mysterious about that.