Determinism, Free Will and Compatibilism

If determinism exists then there is nothing you can do about it – complaining about it also changes nothing because you were predetermined to complain.

If determinism does not exist, and we do have free will, then congratulations! You are free to choose if you want to believe in determinism or free will!

If compatibilism is true then you are free to choose your greatest desire which was highly influenced by your nature. Either you will choose to believe in determinism or free will because your personal nature dictates it. You have little to no freedom – because you chose something that was strongly influenced by your nature – which you have no control over. Again, you are ‘free’ to a very limited or virtually nonexistent extent to choose your path in life. So you can both complain or support determinism because of a small shred of free will.

If you are confused then welcome to the absurdity of life! The more I read this the less sense it makes to me too! Now got to bed – although this suggestion of mine is only relevant if free will exists, because if determinism is true that you will go to bed at a time when you were predetermined to go to bed, and my commands have no actual influence on your action. Or, if compatibilism is true than you will go to bed when you feel like it though this feeling is largely beyond your own self control, or conscious choosing.

I honesty don’t know why I’m still writing this. Maybe because it was predetermined and I have no control – or I’m just exercising my free will by showing you I can continue to write for as long as I will it to happen.

If you read all this then you are truly a noble knight on the path towards either enlightenment or insanity, perhaps a mix o f both. The latter is always more interesting.

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Belief in Free Will

Believing in free will is a win-win situation.

If free will exists then congratulations – you have freely chosen to believe in free will.

If free will doesn’t exist then congratulations – your false belief in determinism is not your fault, it was predetermined and inevitable.

If Determinism is True

In all honesty I really don’t think it makes a huge difference whether there is determinism or free will – in terms of how we will live our lives that is. I say this because if free will is an illusion, it is an illusion we will continue to have regardless of the scientific facts. We will continue to live our lives as if we are ‘free’ regardless of what laws govern it. Take gravity for example. Gravity exists, and there is nothing we can do about it, but we have learned to live with gravity (in the sense that we know how it operates, so we don’t do things like jump off buildings, or build our houses on thin poles). Gravity exists yet we often live our life ignorant of it. I am not conscious of gravity all the time. When I fall down the stairs I don’t think “damn, gravity is to blame!” When I see a chair I don’t think “gravity is keeping that chair in place”.

Basically we live our lives with gravity but never acknowledge it – to us it exists but at the same time we are very much unaware of it. It is such a common phenomenon in our lives that we are largely indifferent to it on a mental level. Likewise, if determinism is proven then it really makes no difference. We will continue to live our lives with determinism but we will be largely ignorant of it. To us, we will always free, or at least in control of our actions. And even if determinism is proven, I am more than positive we will continue to live as if it weren’t a major part our lives.