Determinism. Do you believe in free will? Is science at odds with it?
No. They both exist and get along fine. The confusion lies here. Let’s say the future is completely pre-determined. What does that mean? That it is inevitable and couldn’t happen any other way. That it can be read entirely from the current situation. To say that you can’t change it is a misconception. Of course you can’t. But you can change your mind. You have a vision which is evolving. It may be accurate or way off. You have choices and they “affect” the future. But ultimately you’ll go down only one path. And yes, you were always going to go down that path. But that sentence is a little meaningless. It’s hypothetical. The reasons why you do something can be incredibly intricate, beyond your own knowledge. Why do you feel the way you do? You don’t realise how impulsive you’re being until later. Most things you consider obvious are really assumptions without basis.
Nobody knows what will happen or what you’re capable of. But the clues are there. That people question the laws of the universe because of the concept of free will is testament to the power of free will. We are literally forces of nature. Don’t forget, we are *part* of the universe. And there’s a big difference between the universe following strict predictable laws and it actually being possible to predict the future. There are countless simple mathematical formulas which generate very complicated chaotic unpredictable sequences. Newton’s formula for gravitation has been the same for 500 years. There’s no solution for three bodies. Now take into consideration your own life. All the memories. All the interests. You follow formulas but they’re wonderfully complicated and growing. Don’t feel bad about your actions being determined. Experiencing the dawning realisation of what you want to do is wonderful. You’re part of the equation!
Given enough information about the present, we can find out as much as we like about both the past and the future. They’re not so different from each-other. Some things are easier in one direction than the other. But outside of Uwe Boll movies and controlled scenarios, it’s completely impractical to make predictions.
Don’t be tricked into thinking you have no freedom. What is freedom anyway? Or will for that matter? Haven’t you ever regretted something? Your will changes. We are all a little self-destructive. You think that’s air your breathing? Nobody pushes the boundaries of their existence, you’ve never even felt free will. It’s measured relative to our expectations. Determinism is a reason *for* action. For being determined and making a difference in your own life. For realising that when things go wrong, it isn’t some nasty intangible force putting you down or punishing you, it’s logic. It’s familiar strings of sense and process. It’s a mistake that you made for yourself. Nothing personal. Free will is about realising this. Living in harmony with the “laws of the universe” which aren’t disagreeable at all if you understand them on your own terms. Thinking slows time. Every thought is a universe of its own. Your decisions have gravity.
Lol, that was some dumb shit. I’m also reminded of Taylor series. The way their error balloons so suddenly in both directions and exponentially.