My position on determinism

This post can also be read in Facebook. Basically a response to an article that was posted in “Soul of Singapore.”

I do not agree with the concept of determinism; it is NOT a scientific theory – there is no such thing as a science of determinism. Determinism is a concept that is based on a cause and effect principle. But the current scientific view is that something can come into effect without a cause; the universe is one example.

And there are people [neuroscientists/psychologists] with a view to determinism that is similar to mine: read these:

Causal determinism is, … there is no agreement over whether determinism is true (or even whether it can be known true or false), and what the import for human agency would be in either case.

Determinism is the philosophical position that for every event there exist conditions that could cause no other event.

Determinism is the philosophical idea that every event or state of affairs, including every human decision and action, is the inevitable and necessary consequence of antecedent states of affairs.

philosophy : the belief that all events are caused by things that happened before them and that people have no real ability to make choices or control what happens

Determinism is the philosophical proposition that every event, decision and action is causally determined by an unbroken chain of prior occurrences.

An incompatibilist’s take on determinism is no different from the position of a theist concerning God. According to Sean Carroll [a well-known physicist]: “Unlike our best theory of planets or pendulums, our best theories of human behavior are not deterministic” – page 37 of his book,  The Big Picture.

You can’t argue that determinism is not a theory about human actions being deterministic when you are hell-bent in claiming all human actions are deterministic.

You can argue: deterministically, about 2.3 billion people have become Christians and about 1.6 billion have become Muslims; and deterministically, Patricia Churchland has made a comment that is not agreeable to some people. But realistically, you know for a fact except you may not wish to admit it, that your best deterministic process is unable to determine what I going to eat or drink for my dinner one hour from now.

So, what practical good, if any, can we assign to determinism? What determines what, precisely, is what I want to know; all else is just rhetoric, of no real value insofar as I am concerned.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: