Thank you for clarifying the two.
Someone can say they aren't responsible for what they do all they want, but will still be held accountable for their decisions. It doesn't matter whether or not someone was fated or determined to pull the trigger, they did it, they had a choice, and made one. I don't see the practical difference between the two beliefs in our current world.
I'm not certain reality can be completely predicted by our current understanding of science, especially my own. If you have a link to an article that talks about it more, though, I'd love to read it.
Determinism and fate mean that there is no choice in what we do, therefore "we" are not responsible. If there is only ever 1 thing that can happen, then there was nothing else that could happen, there would be no responsibility. My belief doesn't begin
with "there is no responsibility" - my belief begins with "what is happening, why do things happen the way they do?" and all the way down the, physics is responsible. It's after realising / accepting that that I realised that there can't be responsibility if that's true.
Determinism isn't about humans being able to predict what they or anyone else is going to do. It just means that there is only one thing that could happen in any given scenario, that our brains function on a (very complicated) input and output. So when I say "predictable", I certainly don't mean that I could predict to any degree what will happen because the amount of information necessary to make a prediction is way beyond what a human can even fit in their head let alone process
For instance, if you take a dumptruck and fill it with ping pong balls and empty it over a cliff - you could not predict the path of all of those ping pong balls because it's too much data (sheer number of balss, wind, density of the ground, imperfections in every ball, anything else which might intervene...). But, you also know that there could only be one outcome, because everything is being determined by the laws of physics. If you were able to reproduce that experiment exactly
, with every little detail the same, you would expect the same results. Also important to note, even if you don't understand every little detail, you do know the rules, and you can watch the event and say "Yes, that's what I expected, they all went down and bounced around". That's pretty much all a human can appreciate, but we would be surprised if the balls suddenly took off or caught fire for no apparent reason.
Determinism says that we are just as theoretically predictable, even if it's beyond our comprehension, our "choices" are made in the same way that those ping pong balls fall - initially you would say "well, those balls could go anywhere, I don't know" - but thinking about it, you know that there's only one thing that could happen with each ball, even if you personally don't know what that is.
Without appearing to be "name dropping", there is an article by Stephen Hawking in which he says he doesn't see how there could be free will:http://amiquote.tumblr.com/post/2318471 ... -have-free
Most articles on the subject seem to be needlessly complex, and bring in all kinds of philosophy and are a chore to read...
This is quite a concise and easy to understand video (even if the guy seems to be a serial killer of some kind)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEZKIV8TzuM
He sums up pretty much everything there, but to be frank I've already said everything he says in this thread.
When I was first introduced to determinism (though didn't know it was called that at the time) I rejected it and was actually offended. Determinism means that along with everything else, there's no such thing as creativity or originality. Personality is just how you are, there's nothing to be praised for, no such thing as achievement... and so on. It seemed quite hurtful because I was always very proud of what I did, and so to think that I didn't "deserve" praise for it seemed outrageous. Beyond this, it almost makes one feel like they don't "exist" - if you don't have free will, then you can't choose anything, you are just reacting. I would get in arguments with my bro (who told me about it) saying things to him like "My brain controls my actions, but I'm in control of my brain!". I now realise that's a nonsense statement, for what am "I", if not just a body and a brain? Not being spiritual at all, I can't see room for anything else, so if the brain is a physical object, it is defined by physics like everything else.
Once I stopped looking at it on a personal level, and realised that I am made of the same things as everything else in the universe, it humbled me and put everything in perspective. Those building blocks cannot be said to have free will, and I'd say that anything made up of them has no free will by definition. So what makes "me" special? I am just another bunch of atoms in a ridiculously huge universe. Why would we be able to have an effect over the laws of physics which govern every single
other thing in the universe (as far as we know). It became apparent to me that it was more than a little self-centred to reject the theory on the grounds that I was. I was able to look at things without that personal bias, and accept the scientific and logical evidence, despite the feeling of free will that I experience.
TL:DR - If physics control everything in a predictable way, and your brain is not predictable, then it must be doing something which breaks the laws of physics, which there is no evidence of.