Science, God and Determinism


I find it fascinating that much of science holds to determinism. There is no free will — only biological processes and so forth that render randomized events. There is only the illusion of choice in how we react to the randomized, although one could argue, what’s the difference, really, if it’s real or not, as long as we believe it is?

Likewise, many religions, particularly large sects of Christianity, hold to determinism in their own way, labeled “pre-destination.” The notion that God knows exactly what will happen to us from beginning to end. And yet, some would argue within this framework, God gives us free will. Is it not an illusion, too? Moreover, some in the former grouping would argue that even if a belief in God is an illusion, if one believes it, so? If that belief then dictates a good life, all the better, right?

In either case, it would seem we’re under the control of the all-powerful, all-knowing God granting us the illusion of free will or we’re under the control of the God of the Random, wherein we get enough wiggle room to think we have free choice — mostly, though, it’s better understood as “opportunities.” In the latter, then, it seems a life of reacting rather than getting out in front and “acting.”

Meandering musings…I had no end point in mind, so.

4 thoughts

  1. If God is rational, then he too is deterministic, just like us. And, just like us, he has free will.

    Reasons, be they good or bad, are causes. Therefore, determinism is a characteristic of the rational world, regardless of the physical world.

    Those of us who reason do so for a purpose. The purpose of biological organisms is straight forward, to survive, to reproduce, and beyond that to live well. We can call this our biological will.

    The more sophisticated life-forms have neurological systems capable of conscious thinking, planning, choosing, etc. Among human beings, the ability to choose for ourselves what we will do next, is called “free will”. A choice is our will at that moment. And if we are free to choose and act upon that choice, rather than being forced by someone else to act against our will, then we call that a “free will”.

    And it exists quite comfortably in a deterministic universe.


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