Sunday, March 26, 2017

Does "Every Even Has a Cause" entail determinism?

Do all causes determine their effects? If determinism is true, then if the cause is present the effect is inevitable. But when we use the word "cause" is this what we invariably mean? Maybe not. Can't we say that smoking causes cancer without saying that if I smoke, I am guaranteed to get cancer. 

4 comments:

oozzielionel said...

Better to say every event has more than one cause? Cancer is not only caused by smoking but by genetics, other life style choices, etc. Likewise cancer can be prevented or mitigated by medical intervention, lifestyle changes, and answered prayer.

John Mitchell said...

In the case of free will, the libertarian claim is that choices are undetermined by pre-existing conditions.
I don't quite know what to make of it.
The fact that a person is hungry then raises the probability that the person is going to eat something, yet the probability is not merely epistemic, it is a free choice after all.

How this does not collapse into randomness is beyond me.
So while i reject materialism i dont see LFW as coherent.

Ilíon said...

^ That's because you haven't *really* rejected materialism.

Joe Hinman said...

Ordinary cause/effect is not determinism. Most message board atheists think it il but It is not. Determinism means only one out come is possible, The data are usually too complex in any given view of the world to make that determination. Multiple outcomes are possible in most cases.

Im terms of consciousness and decision makimng, veto power is pertly well established. We may have some definite influences on behavior but we can veto our deicisons once we make them even for split second reactions.