Miss Squeenie McPimpalot (chaletian) wrote,
Miss Squeenie McPimpalot
chaletian

The deterministic universe

I was just reading an old blog post I wrote about determinism in Terminator 3, and I had a thought, which I will now share.

So, the basic concept of determinism is that everything is going to happen a certain way because with all the information available one can tell what decision someone might make at any given time, so there's no free choice, because, causally, you're only ever going to make a certain decision. You might have a 'choice' between course A and course B, but factors X, Y and Z will inevitably cause you to take course A (bearing in mind that factor Z, for example, might be being-in-a-bad-mood-and-wanting-to-be-contrary). That's an incredibly bad explanation, by the way, and if anyone can put it better, I would appreciate it.

Now this leads to the whole debate about things being determined and whether we have free choice and all that sort of thing, because theoretically if you knew everything you could predict the future; the way a person's future will unfold is already set because of things that will unfold blah blah blah. This can cause a certain level of angst and woe amongst people (and is, as you may have guessed/already knew, a bit of a theme in the Terminator films and, indeed, any film where people come back from the future, because there is that whole the future has already happened, so anything you do is going to end up there kinda concept and my god I'm explaining this so unbelievably badly, because this doesn't sound like determinism in the same sense, but it pretty much is).

Anyway, my thought was: determined or genuine free choice - it doesn't matter. Until we can travel into the future (which is unlikely to be any time soon, I'd have thought), what the fuck does it matter? When we are presented with choice A and choice B, we have the freedom to choose. And if it *is* all determined, and we're only ever going to choose A, so what? We still make that decision. It's still a conscious exertion of free will, even if we are inevitably going to end up at point K (just to use a random letter *g*). The point is that we don't know what the future is; we can't work it out, there isn't an equation for it. We will reach point K as a result of our own decisions, for good or bad, and everything else is irrelevant.

Until, of course, we can travel into the future... ;-)



Sorry, that all makes sense in my head, but I know I didn't express it very well. Alas. Words, how you desert me. As usual. Bastards.
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