Determinism VS Free Will

 
 

My dad used to tell me the story about Oedipus, which seems strange, maybe trying to pre convince me not to kill him or hump my mother.  Neither interested me at the time, and to this day, seem uninteresting.  

I've been interested in this topic for a while, and before tuning into this video, assumed that the subject was too broad to have a definite answer.  We have free will to do whatever and make whatever decisions but our actions are likely to occur based on all external acts that exist before and around us.  

Libertarian free will means that metaphysically, we can act freely.  Hard determinism is exactly what i believed in the case that previous occurrences cause what occurs today.  According to this video, and Hank Green, you can't rationally hold both views.  He says that the "principle of alternate possibilities" says that an action is free if other actions were an option.  Determinism, doesn't allow options.  

 According to Hank, there hasn't been a strong argument for libertarianism, besides the fact that it just feels like we have free will.  There are a lot of definitions in this video, but let's stick to the few big words we've been through so far (this is an attempt not to confuse myself).  Introducing - Reductionism: the view that all parts of the world including our own experience, can be traced back, to one singular thing. 

The conclusion that Hank gives, and yes, convinced me, quite easily, is that there is absolutely no such thing as free will.  Everything is a reaction to something that happened.  Our decisions are like baseballs that are struck, something caused the ball to fly, just like something caused us to meet someone new, cry, eat a unique breakfast, it all links back to something.  It's determined, that a lot of what causes these events, is that our actions have invisible causes in our brains.  Our temperament, emotions, etc, can determine where we go, what we eat, who we call, and that will cause what's next and what's next. 

What happens if you flip a coin?  The decision to flip a coin is determined.  Does the idea bother you?  The feeling is determined.  Is this a terrifying feeling?  It shouldn't be.  A mindset can make you feel a certain way, but it doesn't actually change the feelings and actions you can take or...feel.  It's similar to what Naval Ravikant said about us living in a simulation "it' doesn't matter, it would change nothing in our day to day lives".  Life will still be interesting.  Even if our actions are pre determined, we can still feel excitement, we can still be surprised at the way life unfolds.