• enzomatrix207
    3
    So scientific determinism I believe requires a finite set to operate within.
    If the universe is infinite in expanse then I do not see how anything could be predicted exactly.
    It would take an intelligence beyond our ability to understand to calculate with infinity.

    And remember predictions require numbers to quantify something.
    The more quantifiers you have the more accurate.
    Basically it's a math problem. Even today we cannot %100 accurately calculate the circumference of a circle given it's diameter.

    But more importantly how does one belief affect how you get what you want in life vs the other.
  • christian2017
    1.4k


    Calculating the circumference of a circle to that extent is impossible because of the geometric limitations of a circle. A circle is essentially an idea that never actually took place.

    I do see what you mean from the rest of what you said. If we don't know what the smallest particle that exists then we can't predict how the billiard balls are going to collide and thus we can't predict exactly what will happen on the billiards table.
  • enzomatrix207
    3
    A common definition.
    Scientific determinism: since every event in nature has a cause or causes that account for its occurrence, and since human beings exist in nature, human acts and choices are as determined as anything else in the world.

    In this definition it is implied there not an Alpha event that started it all.
    Otherwise what would be the Pre-Alpha event that caused the Alpha event.

    So you can't get an event that isn't the product of a previous event.
    Therefore the universe must be infinite for any event to happen.

    Hard for me to describe the ramifications of this train of thought.
    Looking for insight on what if anything this means for Scientific Determinism.
  • Bridget Eagles
    6
    Christian2017,

    I am hoping to respond to your argument regarding free will and determinism. This is a common argument within the philosophy of religion and it seems to pose a problem for God’s omniscience. I have summarized and outlined your argument below:

    1. If God is omniscient, then He can plan out the details of the lives of every individual before their existence.
    2. If God can plan out the details of the lives of every individual before their existence, then no individual has free will.
    3. If God is omniscient, then no individual has free will. (1, 2 HS)

    I agree that this argument challenges the simultaneous existence of free will and God’s omniscience but I would have to disagree with your argument, namely challenging Premise 2. Aristotle made a similar argument that would challenge Premise 2, arguing that God can only know truths so if a statement is neither true nor false, then it is not a challenge to God’s omniscience or our free will. For example, let’s say that I’m hoping to go to the beach tomorrow but may need to stay at home and finish some work around the house. The statement ‘I will go to the beach tomorrow’ is neither true nor false, it is undecided, thus allowing God’s omniscience to only comprehend that I ‘intend’ to go to the beach, rather than ‘I will’ go to the beach. Although this argument is convincing for the compatibility of free will and God’s omniscience, it still seems that God’s omniscience would allow for Him to see future events, regardless of whether they are true, false, or neither. With that being said, I am unsure as to whether it truly solves the problem of determinism.

    Another point I would like to bring up that challenges Premise 2 of your argument is that if determinism is true, then why would God predestine us to lives of sin, betrayal, and suffering? It seems incompatible that God, also being omnibenevolent, would allow for these tragedies to occur. It is only with free will that we can cause harm to ourselves and others, as God would not predestine us to inflict harm on other's lives and wellbeing or our own. You may argue that factors such as sin, betrayal, and suffering can all be human growth experiences and contribute to the betterment of character over time but it seems as if some suffering occurs without reason. This suffering that occurs without reason requires free will for us to go against God and God’s path for us for the compatibility of suffering and God’s omniscience and omnibenevolence to make sense. For example, consider genocides such as that of the Armenian and Rwandan Tutsi populations. These acts defy the wills of God completely and free will is required to commit acts of suffering and wrongdoing against our population. God would not allow for the mass genocide of certain groups of people for the betterment of others, requiring our own free will to make those decisions. Therefore, this argument counteracts determinism as if God knew these events would occur then He would have altered the course of history to prevent senseless acts of wrongdoing from the beginning of time.

    Finally, you make the comparison of adults to babies as God to us. Although I understand that babies are incredibly predictable, just as we are likely predictable to God, it still seems like babies can do things with their own free will that we may not expect. For example, children react differently around pets; some children get scared, some hurt the pet, and some are comfortable. There does not seem to be a set blueprint for the acts of babies in every situation and I would argue that it is the same case with us and God. This meaning that we have our own free will and can choose to follow our path as we like, posing no harm to God's omniscience.

    As a result, I think the argument you presented famously poses an issue for God’s omniscience but I think the definition of what qualifies as a truth statement and the prevalence of sin and wrongdoing in the world are both arguments against Premise 2 to assert that free will and God’s omniscience are, in fact, wholly compatible.
  • christian2017
    1.4k


    First i would like to address that i see the universe a very large billiards table.

    Second I believe we made our decisions 10 billion years ago (or some would say 10000 or whatever years ago)

    When the events play out (yesterday, today and tommorow) those decisions were actually made 10 billion years ago.

    Our actions and all the particles that make us up are 100% predictable by this supposed god.

    God or the gods create million of sub optimal people that interact with millions of other sub optimal people. The primary goal is for great decisions to be made. The secondary goal is stated in a particular holy book which i will not name due to site restrictions.

    The primary goal is obviously not met given the parts in the system were intended to be sub optimal

    The secondary goal is supposedly reached or will be reached.

    Even though we are like Babies and our actions are extremely predictable we still do have the freedom to act according to our willingness to follow suit with our personalities and/or our desired convictions

    Once again we are 100% predictable.

    Its like playing chess against a 5 year old.

    Without quoting a particular holy book it is unlikely you will be able to use a holy book to convince this is not in accordance with a holy book.

    You could possibly use science to convince me that scientific determinism but that is unlikely due to the fact that my logic circuit dictate to me that scientific determinism is completely rational.
  • christian2017
    1.4k


    Assuming there was a creature or "living" entity from the beginning. A certain holy book has an original creature/entity call him self "I am". I think the ramifications of this name is after a long series of iteration of events this entity just made a compromise with himself and just name himself "I am" basically because there was no point in beating a dead horse. His origins according to himself were to hard to define. In "a brief history of time" this issue is addressed by the author when an old lady says the earth rests on an infinite number of turtles. Stephen Hawkings said the old lady isn't entirely crazy in suggesting a notion that follow with that sort of thinking.
  • prothero
    312
    Forced to choose between scientific determinism, divine omniscience and free will, I pick free will everytime.

    Scientific determinism is at a best a theory which can not be demonstrated, and for any complex system is useless. The formulas (abstractions and idealizations) may be deterministic but the world is not.

    Divine omniscience is a pernicious idea but if the future does not yet exist, then even God cannot know it and it is a small loss to postulate that.

    Free will exists although we are not nearly as "free" as we suppose. The will is not "free" and many of our decisions occur at a sub or non conscious level. Still I don't think all of our behavior is predetermined and I am certain it cannot be empirically demonstrated that it is.
12Next
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.