Nature is enough Determinism vs. Fatalism Determinism holds that every thing and event is a natural and integral part of the interconnected universe.
Patience towards unavoidable events, depending neither upon us nor upon others, is synonymous with fatalism; it is a virtue, and it is the only stand to take in face of the inevitable. We are all in the same situation towards things as they are, and towards things that we cannot change.
The advantage will always lie with him who, for some reason or other, knows how to resign himself tranquilly. In the Handbook, Epictetus boldly asserts that if we merely train ourselves in wishing things to happen as they do, instead of expecting them to happen as we wish, then our lives will go smoothly Enchiridion, 8.
The conceptual and metaphysical problem of freewill has been a central theoretical concern throughout the entire history of Western philosophy. However, Dubois, the Stoics, and others, have seen confusion over precisely this issue as a central psychotherapeutic concern.
However, in modern society we take certain metaphysical views regarding freewill for granted, and seldom examine whether they are well-founded, or even logically consistent. There are some conclusions which we easily arrive at by using the most elementary logic, and which we dare not express.
They seem to be in such flagrant contradiction to public opinion that we fear we should be stoned, morally speaking, and we prudently keep our light under a bushel. If you submit it to a single individual in a theoretical discussion, in the absence of all elementary passion, he will have no difficulty in following your syllogisms; he will himself furnish you with arguments in favour of determinism.
But address yourself to the masses, or to the individual when he is under the sway of emotion caused by a revolting crime, and you will call forth clamours of indignation, — you will be put under the ban of public opinion.
Dubois only engages with it at a very superficial level. However, one aspect of the debate can perhaps be made explicit by means of a very crude syllogism of the kind Dubois had in mind.
Most people seem to assume that we generally act on the basis of freewill, which is constrained to varying degrees by obstacles in their environment. So a man is free from extrinsic restrictions or limitations, and therefore completely responsible for his actions, unless he is held at gunpoint, or brainwashed, etc.
By contrast, the simple determinist position of Dubois can be outlined as follows, All physical activity of the brain is wholly determined by antecedent causal factors. All mental activity is wholly determined by physical activity in the brain.
Therefore, all mental activity is wholly determined by antecedent causal factors.
There are many variations of this argument, exhibiting different degrees of philosophical complexity and sophistication.
Doing so does not logically entail apathy and inertia, as many people falsely assume. Indeed, a man may be causally determined to respond to the perception of universal determinism with a sense of renewed commitment to his ideals, and to vigorous action.
At the exact moment that a man puts forth any volition whatever his action is an effect. It could not either not be or be otherwise.
Given the sensory motor state, or the state of the intellect of the subject, it is the product of his real mentality. But the fault having been committed, it should now be the time for some educative influence to be brought to bear, to bring together in his soul all the favourable motor tendencies and intellectual incentives, to arouse pity and goodness, or found on reason the sentiment of moral duty.
However, if we accept the argument for determinism at face value it has radical implications for our attitudes toward ourselves and other people. We are all, to a large extent, victims of circumstance, insofar as we do what we do with the brains and the upbringing that nature has given us.
Dubois puts this quite eloquently, I know of no idea more fertile in happy suggestion than that which consists in taking people as they are, and admitting at the time when one observes them that they are never otherwise than what they can be. This idea alone leads us logically to true indulgence, to that which forgives, and, while shutting our eyes to the past, looks forward to the future.
Without doubt one does not attain such healthy stoicism with very great ease, for it is not, we must understand, merely the toleration of the presence of evil, but a stoicism in the presence of the culprit. We react, first of all, under the influence of our sensibility; it is that which determines the first movement, it is that which makes our blood boil and calls forth a noble rage.
This does not mean that we are to sink back into indifference, but, with a better knowledge of the mental mechanism of the will, we can get back to a state of calmness. We see the threads which pull the human puppets, and we can consider the only possible plan of useful action — that of cutting off the possibility of any renewal of wrong deeds, and of sheltering those who might suffer from them, and making the future more certain by the uplifting of the wrong-doer.
We are also more enlightened regarding our practical responses and more inclined to reform rather than punish wrongdoers. When Socrates argued in The Republic that the Sage wishes to do good even to his enemies, he meant that the Sage sought to educate and enlighten others, seeing that as their highest good.
That harmonious attitude is the polar opposite of the one which seeks revenge through moralising punishment. It leads to a sense of generosity and equanimity, and resolves anger, resentment, and contempt.
The Paradox of Freewill versus Determinism Like Dubois after them, the Stoics were determinists, who believed that all events in life, including our own actions, are predetermined to happen as they do.Determinism is a subset of fatalism in both of them the endpoint is fixed, but in determinism you don’t have any choice about how you get there either.
Fatalism allows the possibility that you can choose aspects of your fate, such as how you meet it. ie. Determinism vs Fatalism Determinism and Fatalism are philosophies or, in general, attitudes towards life, between which a number of differences can be identified. Both fatalism and determinism are of the view that there is nothing like a free will and that it is just an illusion.
Theological fatalism or theological determinism is an attempt to demonstrate a logical contradiction between an omniscient God and free will, where free will is defined as the ability to .
Determinism vs Fatalism Determinism and Fatalism are philosophies or, in general, attitudes towards life, between which a number of differences can be identified.
Theological fatalism or theological determinism is an attempt to demonstrate a logical contradiction between an omniscient God and free will, where free will is defined as the ability to choose between alternatives.
For example, the belief in fatalism over determinism could causally lead to an attitude of futility which would have a different output than if you had the belief in determinism over fatalism. The following two tabs change content below.