Thursday, July 13, 2023


 Determinism is the view that given what happened in the distant past (which you and I had nothing to do with) the future is inevitable. Such past events can simply be the positions of the material particles in the universe as of, say, July 13, 1950 at 12:13 AM Pacific Daylight Time. Or the set of past event could include choices God might have made to predetermine that such and such will happen. Whether it's physical or divine, given that past state, the future is inevitable. If you play a CD with Ariana Grande's music, you will hear her songs the same way every time you play it, and you won't hear Demi Lovato instead. It's predetermined.

Let's call the set of events over which you had not control X.
The argument against moral responsibility might be stated this way.
1) You are not responsible for X. (It happened before you were born).
2) Necessarily, if X occurs, Y occurs (Y is some action you performed. Think of the worst thing you ever did. Make that Y).
3) Therefore, you are not responsible for Y.
See. you're off the hook.


StardustyPsyche said...

"See. you're off the hook."
Ultimately, yes, there is no evidence of a hell to go to so don't worry about it.

Responsibility is how one deterministic system deterministically influences another deterministic system to act the way it inevitably will after having been so influenced.

It was inevitable that laws would be passed against murder and that some deterministic systems would ignore those laws and inevitably get locked up while other deterministic systems would be deterministically influenced by those laws and inevitably refrain from murder.

Determinism is vastly complex. The social system of responsibility is just one mechanism by which the future deterministically comes to be.

Sorry Victor, it took me more than a minute, maybe five minutes.

David Brightly said...

There seems to be a missing premise. Something along the lines, if event Y is a deterministic consequence of events X, and if I have no responsibility for any of X, then I am not responsible for Y. But is this true? My breaking a glass may be a consequence of the world's deep past (for which I'm not responsible), but under the ordinary sense of 'responsible', I'm still responsible for breaking the glass. I broke it, after all.