they define it in the following way;
“philosophy : the belief that all events are caused by things that happened before them and
that people have no real ability to make choices or control what happens.”
OK, the first half makes some semblance of sense. Obviously when things happen there were things that “happened”before Them. And yes some things are random and have ramifications in which we have no
That being said, however, determinism has been used as a very convenient excuse by some who use it as a justification for their addictions. The old everything that is going to happen is going to happen
and I have no control over it theory lends itself quite nicely to the “I’m powerless” and I can’t help it argument. “It’s my destiny and that’s how it was meant to be”.
This is all a bunch of nonsense. Sure, if you go 200 years into the future and look back at someone’s life, the facts will be there in black and white. You can’t debate “what happened” because clearly it did.
But let’s take a hypothetical case so I can make my point.
Let’s say we take a look at John Doe’s life for a moment. John loves his junk food, is a couch potato and rarely if ever moves beyond what is necessary to get from point A to point B. As a young adult
in his 20’s he was still in pretty decent shape thanks to good genes, a quick metabolism and what have you. However, over time, his eating habits and sedentary lifestyle take him down the road towards less than optimal health. In his late 30’s he is diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes that was a direct result from his living habits.
It’s what happened. You can’t argue the facts because we are looking at a picture of his life after the fact.
I just don’t buy into the idea that when John was in his 20’s, that he didn’t have the ability to make choices about his lifestyle. Of course he could have chosen to eat healthier and to exercise! Just about everything we do in life involves making choices.
It’s very similar to the “everything happens for a reason” stupidity. Of course everything happens for a reason, but here’s the thing…….Very often YOU and YOUR ACTIONS and the DECISIONS that YOU MAKE, ARE THE REASON!
I’ve used this example in the past. My son comes home from school smiling with his math test in his hand and is ecstatic because circled in black at the top of the page is a score of 98!!!!!
Woot, Woot!!!! I’m proud as Hell and I say. Wow, nice guessing kid, right?
Wrong! He got the 98 because he studied his Ass off. It didn’t just happen. It wasn’t predetermined. It happened because he made the decision that he was going to study hard and ace that sucker. He CHOSE
to influence the outcome of the test through HIS efforts. He WAS the REASON he got the 98!
On July 4th, 2010, I made a decision to end my alcohol dependency and so I did. If I believed in this
determinism nonsense, I would have simply waved the white flag and given up.
Determinism also lends itself quite nicely to the “disease” theory of addiction. That’s when one can state that “I was born with the disease of alcoholism” or “I developed the disease of alcoholism” and there is nothing I can do about it. It’s just another excuse to justify continuing to make bad choices or in this case to make no
Now are there events (past trauma), environmental factors (poor urban upbringing) , bad parenting, poor life skills, etc… that factor into WHY some people fall into dependencies? ABSOLUTELY, but that doesn’t mean that you are a hopeless pawn in the game of life that has no say in determining if those
factors are going to SEAL your fate.
I just don’t buy it and NEITHER SHOULD YOU!
FREE WILL…..It exists, use it or lose it baby.
Have a great day