Thank you for your contribution here.Diagoras wrote: The supposition in the OP looks a lot like â€˜hard determinismâ€™, and without ever stating it specifically, I believe the question is close enough to â€œdo we have free will?â€� to allow some thoughts on that. Iâ€™ve linked to two consecutive Youtube videos from the â€˜Crash Course Philosophyâ€™ channel below, which better explains things.
Iâ€™d probably come down on the side of the â€˜Compatibilistsâ€™ (or â€˜soft-deterministsâ€™), who believe that when the actions of an agent (e.g. you) are self-determined - or determined by causes internal to themselves - that the action should be considered free. This is a philosophy part-way between libertarian free will (the belief that some human actions are truly freely chosen) and hard determinism (the belief that all events are caused by past events such that nothing other than what does occur, could occur). Compatiblism thus seems to provide for moral responsibility, although there are plenty of cases (e.g. mental illness) where separating what are truly internal causes from external ones become problematic. A fascinating related topic people might be interested in is the phenomenon of â€˜Frankfurt casesâ€™. It may well be that we have to content ourselves with feeling â€˜more or lessâ€™ free, without being able to prove it conclusively, and from a practical perspective, ask ourselves instead what degree of control we possess over our actions.
I wasn't talking about us having free will, as I do think we are able to make at least one, and possibly more, free will choices in our lives. I was talking about outcomes.
If I attempt to prevent a disaster, I have used my free will and chosen to attempt to prevent a disaster, but if a god sees fit for the disaster to happen, then no matter what I do, the disaster will happen. Do you see the distinction now?
This can be addressed at least in part because Christians have the concept that nothing happens or fails to happen outside the will of God.
What I am searching for an answer for and trying to solve, is if we have free will, and no outcome happens without god allowing it to happen or making it happen, and any outcome that god sees fit to be prevented is prevented, than how does anything we do, or do not do, matter?
If god sees fit to prevent a store from getting robbed, then if I have a chance to stop it but don't, then does it really matter, because god will prevent it from being robbed somehow, whether that's making events work out to where a police officer happens to be in the store at the time of the attempted robbery, or making the robber have to abort the attempt because of car trouble, etc.