Friday, September 19, 2014

On the Philosophy of Determinism

On The Philosophy of Determinism
2011 by Dale Bryant

 Among the many philosophies and ways of looking at the world that there are, I came across one in particular several years ago that I, in fact, subscribe to. Let me share it with you:

 For a moment, think of the Big Bang event as an exploding grenade (I do believe that the Creator’s method of bringing the universe into existence was the Big Bang, that it was His idea and His intent, and that the contents of space did not simply materialize in its present state out of nothingness.)

 The explosion of a grenade and the expansion of the universe, granted, differ fundamentally in their mechanics, but the outcome is the same. Now the grenade contains bits and pieces of shrapnel that will move from their positions inside the grenade to their eventual resting positions on the ground when the explosion is over. Trigonometry and ballistics can predict the path that the shrapnel will follow and its distance from the center of the explosion to its position on the ground, dictated by the force of the explosion, the position of the bit of shrapnel inside the grenade’s casing, its moment of inertia, etc. In other words, the future history of the shrapnel's location in space at all times during its journey from the center of the grenade is pre-determined from the moment of the explosion.

 In the philosophy of “Determinism”, every event is pre-determined; not directly by the Almighty, necessarily, but if nothing more than by the choreography of effects on space-time which was brought on at the moment of creation by the explosive action of the Great Expansion (the Big Bang) event itself. Everything else follows naturally and exactly as it should and can never vary. This also includes what we call “free will”. The decisions you make in your day to day life, based on what appears to you as freedom of choice, are the only decisions you can possibly make – they have already been determined. Now, I’ve heard from many people who believe that free will exists and is a gift from God and that our limited, simple human minds simply can’t understand that. I’d like here to use that same reasoning exactly against that idea. Those very same minds couldn’t possibly grasp, at least at this point in our evolution, all of the physics and chemistry behind the running of the universe. Now, I’m not, in my opinion, an atheist but an agnostic. Obviously, the universe came into being and it was created by something. I simply refuse to anthropomorphize that something. Whatever it was certainly has no need of resembling us in any way whatsoever, either physically or mentally, any more than it has need to resemble a dolphin or an elephant, as we are all (including the dolphin and the elephant) the products of a very specific evolutionary chain of events. Go ahead, shoot me.

 Our universe is, to this day, still expanding – moving in response to the inertia of the moment of Creation. It's entire contents of stars, comets, planets, galaxies, dust and gas particles, metals - and people - are moving apart, following a very exacting script. Every event that follows and it's eventual outcome, including the experiences of ourselves - ourselves being an intrinsic part of the system - was determined at the moment of Creation. Nothing we can ever do or think – or hope to think - can change that.

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