Uncertainty in Accepting Determinism

Hi all,

sorry it’s been a really long time, like a week or even longer. The bio reading has been going well, but not fast enough. I’ve covered 500+ pages of a 1250 page book, but I only have 9 days left to review, which is less than half the time to review more than half the book.

Today, I want to do the short follow up not really on the defense of free will that I said I would do after discussing determinism, but more of a denial of blind acceptance of determinism. I’ll try to formulate some arguments from reading and thinking as to why free will is a plausible idea, but right now I need to catch up on some sleep.


This is a moderate viewpoint in support of free will, meaning that it accounts for choice when not under duress, and that although affected by our surroundings, that we as people are free to make each choice.

In order for the world to be governed by determinism, this would mean that every action that has ever occurred has been caused by the circumstances before it. If a single choice was made of something’s own accord in the duration of our universe, then free will exists. Furthermore, free will can be an educated choice based on assessment of one’s surroundings. If we were to strip observation away and call it solely a deterministic trait, then free will could not be proved to exist, and we would be forced to accept determinism as the law of the universe?

This seems unreasonable, to assume that something is incontrovertibly true simply because a differing viewpoint is wrong. We as thinking humans are able to make the conscious choice to reject such a notion and use reason to find the flaw in such an argument. To say that everything can only be viewed from a deterministic or free-will-ian perspective would be like saying everything is white or black. Simply because two things are opposite does not mean that they encompass the entirety of the real world. This means that even if free will isn’t real, we cannot simply accept an alternative.


I’ll try to stay active, but as of now I’ve postponed many aspects of my life such as working out, reading other literature, most youtubing as well…

Thanks for reading,


31 thoughts on “Uncertainty in Accepting Determinism

  1. From the Roman Latin the word Liberal was derived which meant “To be born a free man!” A free man can only be understood in contrast to the enslaved man.
    Freedom is always limited in the physical and social world by the imposed constraints. But constraints inspire innovation and innovation results in more choices and freedom.
    So you always when under constraints have the mental freedom to seek innovations to circumvent the constraints, as long as you are mentally free enough to explore them.


  2. There is often the question of how do we define “free will”, but we really need to take a closer look at how we define “determinism”.

    Determinism is based in the belief that the physical objects and forces that make up our universe behave in a rational and reliable fashion. By “rational” we mean that there is always an answer to the question, “Why did this happen?”, even if we never discover that answer.

    This belief gives us hope that we may uncover the causes of significant events that affect our lives, and, by understanding their causes, gain some control over them. Medical discoveries lead to the prevention and treatment of disease, agricultural advancements improve our world’s food supply, new modes of transportation expand our travel, even to the moon and back, and so forth for all the rest of our science and innovation. Everything rests upon a foundation of reliable causation.

    Determinism itself is neither an object nor a force. It cannot do anything. It does not control anything. It is not in any way an actor in the real world. It is only a comment, an assertion that the behavior of objects and forces will, by their naturally occurring interactions, bring about all future events in a reliable fashion.

    Concepts, like “causation”, “inevitability”, and “determinism” are not “things” that cause. Only the actual objects themselves, and the forces they naturally exert upon other objects, can cause events to happen.

    When empirically observed, we find that we exist in reality as physical objects, living organisms, and an intelligent species. As living organisms, we act purposefully to survive, thrive, and reproduce. As an intelligent species, we act deliberately by imagination, evaluation, and choosing. And, when we act upon our choices, we are forces of nature.

    In short, determinism itself doesn’t control anything and it doesn’t cause anything. But we do control things and we do cause things.

    Two facts are simultaneously true: (A) Because we act according to our own purpose and our own reasons, it is authentically free will. (B) Because we act according to our own purpose and our own reasons, it is authentically deterministic.


    1. The existence of a deterministic template breaks down with the inherent uncertainty built into reality itself.
      The claim that the brain is determined to function like a machine is just an assertion. There appears to be the capacity to choose the cycles of mental processes yourself in new and novel ways that breaks free from the causal chain. If you were fully determined then you would just be a data set, much like a lump of rock. The resolve or spirit to overcome the constrictions of reality itself is a reality and it’s not established that this is purely the result of the same type of causation that applies to no living matter.
      And in the end determinism even if true and rigid, it would not negate the ability to make a choice in the present moment from a number of available options. And the ability to choose is called freedom!


      1. There is no “deterministic template”. However, your choice will be caused by your own purpose and your own reasons, your own thoughts and your own feelings. If I were to ask you, “Why did you choose to respond to my comment?”, I suspect that you’ll be able to explain what caused you to do so.

        So, what I’m saying is that, you doing things for your own reasons, is an example of a deterministic process. Given who you were at the moment that you wrote your response, your response was both (a) causally inevitable and (b) caused by you.

        Thus determinism and free will, when both are correctly defined, are compatible concepts.


      2. They exist in time and space relative to what? Apparently they didn’t exist at one point!
        From what reference point are you making this assertion? There is a greater reference point than you or is that all you can explain?


      3. I’m happy to explain anything you like. Numbers are how we count things. We need to count things so that we can do practical things, like knowing when we have enough apples to feed everyone, or calculating where the moon will be so we know where to park the landing module. You know, things like that. But the numbers do not exist as objects themselves in empirical reality, only the objects actually exist.


      4. Marvin,
        In experiments of a perfect vacuum and at a temperature of minus 273 degrees kelvin particles emerge in pairs of matter and antimatter.
        They flicker into and out of existence in what is known as the Zero Point Field! This violates non of the conservation of energy laws because of the separation. When they recombine they disappear into the nothingness that they emerged from!
        This whole fucking universe has emerged from something non physical!
        The northern hemisphere of the universe is comprised of left hand spiral galaxies. The Southern Hemisphere of the universe is comprised or right hand spiral galaxies. Baryonic matter and antimatter both have opposite spins, just like the universe of galaxies!
        Because light is non-chiral, the emissions from an antimatter galaxy is identical to a baryon if matter galaxy!
        Think about it, then tell me I believe in Magic!


      5. I’m sorry, but I cannot accept that. It is easier to believe there is an error in the experiment. For example, a vacuum may contain no air, but there will be sub-atomic particles radiating through any container constantly. And if there actually are no particles, then there is nothing to take the temperature of. Temperature implies stuff in motion, moving faster (hot) or slower (cold).

        I can accept that stuff may have existed in a form unfamiliar to Newton, but I think it is traditional to call even the smallest subatomic particles “physical”. And that would apply to strings or any other form of matter.

        I’ve heard of matter and anti-matter, but I’ve also heard that they do not come in equal shares (otherwise we’d be immediately back to nothingness again).

        The two cosmologies we’ve discussed are not incompatible. I could categorize the equal but distant matter/anti-matter universes as “stuff-in-motion”.

        On the one hand, we have super-dense black holes alternating with universes. On the other hand, we have matter/anti-matter alternating with “nothingness”.

        I prefer to stick with my own description for now, since it doesn’t require a belief that something can come out of nothing. That still sounds like magic to me.


      6. I do believe in anti-matter. After all, I saw it demonstrated on Star Trek many times. 🙂 Although I’m not sure whether Mr. Wizzard covered it.

        But my impression (which may be completely nonfactual) is that it converts matter to energy, and that energy is something else moving (not nothingness).

        Again, what I’ve heard is that … ah! It is described in Wikipedia here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antimatter

        They say that the “annihilation” event results in additional subatomic particles and energy (not nothingness).

        Hope that helps.


      7. It depends on what you define as existence. Light does not exist without matter. Light is not emitted randomly. Light is only emitted from the emitting atom to the receiving atom once the recipient has been established!
        This means that when you look at a star tonight that is a million light years away, at eleven o’clock, that the photon was emitted a million years before you were even born.
        Did the star emit this in advance knowing of your future existence or did you cause a retro causality event by looking?
        It seems I can eat an apple or not, or exchange thoughts with you or not….is it all written in the stars or am I a weak time machine affecting distant history?
        It seems silly to argue that the apple I eat is not real and I’m not either!
        The strong Anthropic principle addresses this question adequately. But am I ultimately real if the universe is made out of nothing?
        My answer is, only for a period in rational time!


      8. Like I said, our cosmologies are different. I don’t believe the universe is “made out of nothing”. I believe it is made out of “stuff” or “matter”, which is organized as objects in motion, which exert certain forces, such as gravity, upon other objects. And I prefer to think of light as particles which sometimes come at you in waves.


    2. And the materialist argument for determinism neglects the greater existing reality beyond the universe itself. The Big Bang indicates that the universe is both finite and temporary.
      The physical universe is defined by matter firstly with time, space, and energy being emergent properties that do not have realities independent of the material.
      The physical universe had a beginning and will have a conclusion. This all means that the physical universe is just a subset of a larger totality where matter, energy, time and space do not apply.


      1. Robert, I take a different approach. Since we observe stuff and we observe its motion and transformation, and since we believe it is impossible for something to come out of nothing, we have the evidence to suggest that stuff, in one form or another, has always been here. Stuff-in-motion is eternal.

        So, the more reasonable theory would be that our Big Bang was not the first, nor will it be the last. The thing that exploded into a universe was previously a super-dense collection of matter, collapsed by gravity to a small space. It was essentially a really, really, really big black hole.

        And we’ve noticed there are plenty of black holes floating around out there, perhaps in the center of every galaxy. Black holes tend to collect matter and condense it to its smallest form. And as black holes consume stars, we can also assume they consume other black holes.

        Apparently, when sufficient matter is accumulated, some tripping point is reached where the whole thing blows up in a Big Bang. So, a workable theory is that matter has eternally been going through this process of accumulating until it reaches a tripping point and explodes into a new universe.

        But that’s not all. Consider infinity. It’s a pretty big place 🙂, with lots of room for any number of Big Bangs to be going through this cyclic process. For all we know, there may be an infinite number of universes exploding in Big Bangs all over the place, like popping corn.

        Anyway, there’s no reason to assume just one universe in just one small corner of infinity. And no reason to assume that it took a miracle to produce one.


      2. If you ad all the negative and positive energy in the universe together they ad up to zero! This indicates that it took no net energy I put to create this universe!
        As a totality at any given instant the totality ads up to zero!
        It took nothing physical to create this universe. The universe was created by separation of opposite energies and it is maintained by this separation.
        There is only one universe that we know of and need to explain. Having the idea of more than one universe is silly when it does not shed any light on this one, it just creates more to explain!
        Pure energy is light and it is the exchange particle of the electromagnetic force. All things exist in space and their relationships are defined by space. Time exists in nonlinear and linear forms and has no meaning outside this universe either!
        The emergence of physical reality at the Big Bang created a situation that you can never observe from outside it! In nonlinear time from the inside perspective you are surrounded by, living inside and are a part of the Big Bang and you cannot get out even to look at it because outside of it there is no matter, time, space, or energy!


      3. It seems we have two different cosmologies. Mine accommodates both eternity and infinity and requires nothing magical. And if I see one apple, I have reason to presume there may be many more apples out there, similar to this one.


      4. You aren’t even informed about time space and light that Einstein introduced and so introduced irrational time!
        Good luck, you need to catch up!


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