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Determinism QUESTION from Stan February 15, 2000
I have one pure philosophic question.
Is generally possible to recognize (by man) that given being is deterministic or non deterministic?
In catholic faith man is the only not deterministic being. Spirit was given only to man. I have dealt with this problem very hard and i have came to conclusion that man could not generally recognize that given being is deterministic or not deterministic.
It's philosophic question - we must consider not only living creatures but also possible ones. Please don't compare man with animals... Please don't quote the Bible... Don't restrict yourself to the life on the Earth... Focus yourself to logic.
So is it possible for being which doesn't know everything like God?
For detail view i will write some problems if answer is: YES. - it means that non deterministic being (being with spirit) could behave in way in which could not (could not in principle) behave deterministic being. (in that case i would like examples of such behavior)
- it means that there exists at least one clear criterion dividing deterministic and non deterministic beings (if not we can think only about probability or such recognition)
... and if answer is: NO - it means that Man can not prove that he has a spirit...
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on February 22, 2000 Dear Mr. Stan:
I am sorry, but your question requires a precise philosophical answer. In order for me to give a precise philosophical answer, I need your question formulated with clarity. I would guess that English is not your native language, and thus your question is not very clear – at least it is not written with sufficient clarity for me to give the kind of detailed philosophic answer you want.
But from what I can glean from your question I would say this: While there are certainly many evidences for man being determined, we know from God that man has free will. Since man has free will, hard determinism is and must be untrue. Some case may be made for soft determinism, but I think that even that fails against the light of Truth that we know from God who created us with an unhindered free will.
For a more detailed discussion of this problem itself, I would recommend the writings of Thomas Aquinas.
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