determinism

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  • noun

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(philosophy) a philosophical theory holding that all events are inevitable consequences of antecedent sufficient causes

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Briefly, the Consequence Argument holds that if determinism is true, then all choices are unalterable, necessary "consequences" of prior, nomologically sufficient events functioning as causal conditions, in which case there cannot be free will; that is, determinism and free will are incompatible, so, if determinism is true, it must be hard determinism.
Theravada Buddhists express what I have described as a form of wiggly-determinism, an attempt to circumvent the implications of hard determinism that ignores the distinction between hard and soft determinism, but on my analysis dependent origination is perfectly consistent with soft determinism, even if the two doctrines are not otherwise identical.
10) Hard determinism resembles fatalism, but differs from it in one crucial respect.
This is entirely consistent with hard determinism because, although the causal history of the universe might be such that a woman's meditation will decrease her angry impulses, it also might be such that she will not have that result.
In this way, with the seemingly minor shift from the language of might to the language of can, we are led from a world consistent with hard determinism into one in which an agent seems to have counter-factual abilities.
Siderits thinks verse 32 supports the paleo-compatibilist claim that ultimatese hard determinism does not conflict with the needs of unenlightened, conventionalese-speaking Buddhist practitioners, who must adopt the conventional notion of efficacious agency to follow the Buddhist path, thereby evidencing some authoritative support for paleo-compatibilism.
But the idea that knowledge of impersonal causal/volitional forces leads to agential self-regulation and freedom regarding those forces (however impersonal, determined) is arguably and intuitively more of a soft than a hard determinist idea, although some hard determinists claim that all such abilities are consistent with hard determinism.
But the converse is not so obvious: that is, despite the nice fit for hard determinists to be found in consequentialism, it is not so obvious that being a consequentialist, say, entails hard determinism.
In short, Goodman thinks Buddhism accepts hard determinism, the view that because determinism is true, there is no free will.
Goodman offers another argument for Buddhist hard determinism on reactive attitude grounds:
For if hard determinism is true, nobody is truly guilty--responsible--for anything they do, because all relevant causal explanation is agent exogenous or agent indifferent.
Karmic fatalism resembles hard determinism, for it suggests that current actions are inevitable effects of previous karma.
I submit that if Story, Rahula, and Gomez understood the differences between hard and soft determinism, they would agree that the Buddha would reject hard determinism and would likely accept soft determinism.