Chance vs Determination
For the sake of this argument, it is imperative to distinguish the different natures of Indeterminism clauses and the clauses belonging to that of Determinism. Indeterminism is defined as “the doctrine that human actions, though influenced somewhat by preexisting psychological and other conditions, are not entirely governed by them but retain a certain freedom and spontaneity”(“Indeterminism.” Dictionary.com, Dictionary.com,). Indeterminism is a branch in philosophy that relies heavily on chance, or moreover, focuses directly onto unknown contributing factors that result in an outcome that is not completely able to be determined ahead of time. Determinism, on the other hand, is defined as “the doctrine that all events, including human action, are ultimately determined by causes external to the will, some philosophers have taken determinism to imply that individual human beings have no free will and cannot be held morally responsible for their actions”.
Indeterminism is often incorrectly identified as determinism and vice versa. Arguments can be made that clauses are being written off as indeterminism when in fact they are not, they are deterministic in nature. To further elaborate on that point, using the logic from, Slattery, Trick. “Indeterminism.” Breaking the Free Will Illusion for the Betterment of Humankind, some might consider a roll of dice to be an act of chance. Or some might consider it to be random act, a way to even that playing field merely because we don’t know what the outcome will be. It would seem to have the defining characteristics pertaining to spontaneity, and to have the right criteria to fall under the category indeterminism. That, however, is not the case. The act of rolling dice does not belong under the title of an indeterminism clause. Technically speaking, the dice being thrown a specific way, gravity, the terrain it lands on, the weight of the dice themselves, etc. are all causal factors that contribute into the results of the dice.
These are all outside factors acting on their own will onto the dice influencing its outcome. Outside factors more over environmental factors outside of our control give the illusion of chance. The resulting outcome of the number or numbers the dice or die lands on can be traced directly back to the outside factors. There is no room for chance to exist, every action, every slight wobble of the dice has a cause, no matter how infinitesimal, there is always a cause.
Law of Universal Causation
The above conceived notion that every action has a cause is the layman’s explanation of the principle of universal causation. The very basis of indeterminism violates the foundation principle of universal causation. To put it another way, universal causation is well-defined as “the theoretical or asserted law that every event or phenomenon results from, or is the sequel of, some previous event or phenomenon, which being present, the other is certain to take place”(Law of Universal Causation.” The Free Dictionary, Farlex,). Indeterminism claims there is a sense of spontaneity to the actions of living things. Indeterminism allocates that ultimately there is no underlying driving force that causes or decides the outcomes of actions committed by nonliving and living things. Imagine having a small rubber ball in the palm of your hand. The ball will not fall to the ground when it is in your hand. This is due to the fact there is an outside force, your hand in this instance, is holding the small rubber ball steady above the ground. If you were to remove the hand holding the ball, the ball would fall out of your grasp and bounce onto the ground below your feet.
Now you may ask why is that and how is that not the result of spontaneity? It would fall to the floor due to gravity being an environmental force outside the ball’s control and even outside your control acting on it. It would appear that you had the advantage of spontaneity, but that is not true. Yes, in this hypothetical situation you did decided to drop the small rubber ball , but the ball fell due to gravity, there is no spontaneity nor is there chance. The outcome of the ball was easily predictable. In order for that clause to be plausible under Indeterminism, the small rubber ball would have had to do something entirely unexpected. Had the ball floated above you, burst into flames, transformed into a peach or even changed colors it would be a case of Indeterminism. Since none of those scenarios transpired, and the small rubber ball fell as to be expected, it is a simple manifestation of gravity at work, what goes up must come down, more over it is Determinism at work.
Deterministic views establish that humans are a direct byproduct of our culture and outside environmental factors. Recalling the first example with the roll of the dice, one can argue that human brains work in the exact same manner. To elaborate on this, consider the human brain functions in this scenario as the die themselves. The outcome of the die results from the shape, the way it’s thrown, the effect of gravity, the surface it lands on etc.; this idea works in similar ways with human brains, in that they are affected by outside factors, except they are determined by the DNA that composes them, and the environmental stimuli surrounding them.
Determinism vs Indeterminism
How one grows up, their life experiences, the cultural views imposed on them, and their educational background, to name a few, are all factored into human brain function, and ultimately shape how an individual makes decisions. For the die, there are various numbers on each side, each representing a different statistical outcome that could transpire. Similarly, for humans our actions and decisions are represented by various brain functions. That being said however, the above mentioned die outcomes, as well as the actions that humans take, are already predetermined by these outside factors, and therefore adhere to the principle of universal causation.
Determinism denounces the idea that humans have free-will or even a choice in the outcome of their actions. Determinism focuses largely on the concept that much of what we do as humans, has already been predetermined. Choice is an illusion to give a false sense of free-will in which to govern ourselves, but in reality, the so-called product of our actions has been well established before we act and moreover it has been decided before we begin to contemplate how our actions will resolve.
If the theory of indeterminism were true and the theory of determinism were to be false, it would violate the universal principle of causation. There cannot be a violation of the principle of universal causation. Since there cannot be a violation of the principle of universal causation, indeterminism is false. Due to the falsehood of indeterminism the existence of free will in itself is fabricated.