View Poll Results: Do you believe in determinism and/or selfhood

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  • I believe in determinism, but have not studied or thought about the problem in-depth

    1 16.67%
  • I believe in determinism, and have studied and/or thought about the problem in-depth

    1 16.67%
  • I do not believe in determinism, but have not studied or thought about the problem in-depth

    1 16.67%
  • I do not believe in determinism, and have studied and/or thought about the problem in-depth

    2 33.33%
  • I believe in selfhood, but have not studied or thought about the problem in-depth

    1 16.67%
  • I believe in selfhood, and have studied and/or thought about the problem in-depth

    3 50.00%
  • I do not believe in selfhood, but have not studied or thought about the problem in-depth

    1 16.67%
  • I do not believe in selfhood, and have studied and/or thought about the problem in-depth

    1 16.67%
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Thread: Determinism and Selfhood

  1. #1
    wants to be a writer. silverchris9's Avatar
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    Default Determinism and Selfhood

    Alright, I'm wondering if (inclination towards) belief in determinism and belief in selfhood are at all related to type. I have a guess, but it could be off. Brief definition of how I'm using my terms:

    Determinism: the idea that every action one takes is causally determined by a series of factors, albeit infinitely (or uncountably) complex factors. These factors might include childhood life, genetics, friendships/relationships, cultural situation, selfhood/selfsame, etc. Some associated ideas might be that things could not be other than they are, or that everything happens "necessarily".

    Selfhood: the idea that there is something in each person that is unique to the point that even if two people had the exact same history, they wouldn't be the same person, or, in more radical forms, even if two people had the same genetics, and the same prenatal conditions, and the exact same life history, they wouldn't be the same person. Another way of saying this is to say that while there is a similarity between Bob-who-has-lived-Bob's-life and Suzy-who-has-lived-Bob's-life (i.e., has had all of Bob's experiences, parents, cultural circumstance, genetics, etc.), there is also a similarity between Bob-who-has-lived-Bob's-life and Bob-who-has-lived-Suzy's-life.

    So, basically, do you believe that human beings have individual natures, and do you believe that human life is causally determined? Please list your type and your opinions/thoughts on the matter, as well as your history with these ideas, if any.

    EDIT: Oh, and please list your e-type too, if you know it. I think there's a pretty obvious e-type correlation to one of these.
    Not a rule, just a trend.

    IEI. Probably Fe subtype. Pretty sure I'm E4, sexual instinctual type, fairly confident that I'm a 3 wing now, so: IEI-Fe E4w3 sx/so. Considering 3w4 now, but pretty sure that 4 fits the best.

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  2. #2
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    I don't think determinism can be correlated to type. Although its element is clearly Ni, indeterminancy is also Ni. It depends on which side of Ni you prefer to believe in, its inevitability or its uncertainty.

    I believe in a middleground where the flow of time is a fixed evolution from precise (if perhaps unknowable) initial conditions, but its flow is uncertain and the only thing we can know for sure is that somehow things will work out for the best.

    I don't believe that trying to fit people strictly into 81 categories is a good way to learn about people, let alone to discuss them, so you'll have to do without the e-type.

    I do have a self, and yet am determined. I don't look at it as a problem, because I'm pretty sure that the cards are intrinsically stacked in my favor. However at times not all the cards are "in hand" yet and in those times I do experience self-doubt. Apparently it is a prerequisite that the cards be dealt gradually for their cumulative state to remain positive.

    It's as though there is an unconscious "time-keeper" inside of me which compels me to take action before things get out of hand. I think this must be the emotion of self-determination.
    Last edited by tcaudilllg; 12-18-2009 at 10:47 AM.

  3. #3
    Sauron, The Great Enemy ArchonAlarion's Avatar
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    Determinism is not correlated to Ni.


    Everything has a cause and will produce effects.

    Exactly the same conditions would spawn the exactly the same effects.

    True random cannot exist (holy shit don't get me started).

    Apply this consistently.


    If anything, the idea is most appetizing to Ti egos.

    (There is a paradox: The beginning of existence, which would require absolute nothing before, yet that is impossible [0+0*0-0/0=0]. So existence must have always existed, yet how can there be change and asymmetry? Idk.)
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  4. #4
    strrrng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverchris9 View Post
    Determinism: the idea that every action one takes is causally determined by a series of factors, albeit infinitely (or uncountably) complex factors.
    The nature of conditions and influences is what deters me from any significant belief in determinism. It is a temporal assumption, founded on retrospective understanding (i.e. my car is moving because I put gas in it; but, at the moment of gasoline injection, there was no sequence, no necessary cause for the action, and surely no certainty of the car's subsequent activity).

    Selfhood: the idea that there is something in each person that is unique to the point that even if two people had the exact same history, they wouldn't be the same person, or, in more radical forms, even if two people had the same genetics, and the same prenatal conditions, and the exact same life history, they wouldn't be the same person. Another way of saying this is to say that while there is a similarity between Bob-who-has-lived-Bob's-life and Suzy-who-has-lived-Bob's-life (i.e., has had all of Bob's experiences, parents, cultural circumstance, genetics, etc.), there is also a similarity between Bob-who-has-lived-Bob's-life and Bob-who-has-lived-Suzy's-life.
    I definitely support this viewpoint, and don't think it's either compatible or incompatible with determinism, as it is based around a notion of something independent of external factors (one could postulate a kind of determinism as, in part at least, stemming from an intrinsic existence of self).

    I tend to believe that people have already gone where they will, and thus will go where they will; they are a sort of 'is' that while, not being entirely removed from the flux of causal forces in the universe, undoubtedly develop with said things based on their intrinsic pattern, instead of manifesting said thing as a result of interaction.

    I definitely see the E4 bent in my beliefs, but don't think it limits them unreasonably (i.e. suggesting that self is simply the end-all guiding force).

    Quote Originally Posted by ArchonAlarion View Post
    Everything has a cause and will produce effects.
    How do you know everything has a specific cause? This doesn't necessitate determinism.

    Exactly the same conditions would spawn the exactly the same effects.
    But there is no such thing as "exactly the same conditions," solely because of their transient, amorphous nature. This inability for complete replication or control, is part of what precludes determinism IMO.

    True random cannot exist (holy shit don't get me started).
    Please start. I think 'true random' is the only thing that really 'exists,' and that any subsequent order purported is merely a selective synthesis of random.
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  5. #5
    Sauron, The Great Enemy ArchonAlarion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by strrrng View Post
    The nature of conditions and influences is what deters me from any significant belief in determinism. It is a temporal assumption, founded on retrospective understanding (i.e. my car is moving because I put gas in it; but, at the moment of gasoline injection, there was no sequence, no necessary cause for the action, and surely no certainty of the car's subsequent activity).

    You put in the gasoline due to the complex factors up to that point. It was inevitable that you'd put in the gas, and if it was not inevitable, than it would never have happened.

    Just because the process is long and complex does not mean it somehow "breaks" out of the deterministic chain.


    How do you know everything has a specific cause? This doesn't necessitate determinism.
    Logically prove that a specific event can occur without a specific cause.

    But there is no such thing as "exactly the same conditions," solely because of their transient, amorphous nature. This inability for complete replication or control, is part of what precludes determinism IMO.
    Concrete replication is impossible, but abstract replication is possible.

    Accepting determinism abstractly, but not concretely, is annoyingly inconsistent and it follows that you are rejecting applications of logic to reality as a whole.

    Please start. I think 'true random' is the only thing that really 'exists,' and that any subsequent order purported is merely a selective synthesis of random.
    What causes a true random choice?
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  6. #6
    Azeroffs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchonAlarion View Post
    Determinism is not correlated to Ni.


    Everything has a cause and will produce effects.

    Exactly the same conditions would spawn the exactly the same effects.

    True random cannot exist (holy shit don't get me started).

    Apply this consistently.


    If anything, the idea is most appetizing to Ti egos.

    (There is a paradox: The beginning of existence, which would require absolute nothing before, yet that is impossible [0+0*0-0/0=0]. So existence must have always existed, yet how can there be change and asymmetry? Idk.)
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  7. #7
    Darn Socks Director Abbie's Avatar
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    Selfhood sounds good to me. Determinism maybe, but nah. I haven't thought about it much, but identical twins are different from each other. People can be raised in bad homes and still turn out good, or vice versa.

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  8. #8
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    The problem (IMO) stems from whether or not there is true random. While I don't think there is, it was pointed out to me that all it would take is for one minor subatomic change somewhere in the universe that happened unpredictably to render determinism false. This occurrence, can never really be proven without doubt to be impossible. To be able to prove that would require omniscience or something close.

    For all we know there may be minute subatomic variance to everything we think to be occurring exactly the same and that there are very small pieces of random in everything. The degree by which is unmeasurable by today's technology.

    Maybe when a ball hits a wall at a 45 degree angle it bounces off at 45.0000000000000000000000001 degrees in the other direction. How could we ever be certain of that? At least by today's standards. The fact is that we cannot know every variable and so we are not justified in making a hypothetical case in saying given every variable, everything would be determined.

    I'm playing devil's advocate here, but really it seems to come down to faith since it is near impossible to prove either way.
    Last edited by Azeroffs; 12-18-2009 at 09:24 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Regarding selfhood: A = A.
    Determinism OTOH is a painful topic.

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