i'm not entirely sure how to verbalize this because i've thought about this more in concretized and metaphorical terms. i mean, at a certain point i did believe everything had to be deterministic by principle but that's not really necessarily true IMO anymore. certain things that made me reconsider my position:
1. afaik, hard determinism takes an issue with the idea of free will, and that agency can exist independently of external conditions, context or stimuli (aka "little gods hypothesis"). i don't necessarily believe in this sort of literal idea of agency, but i think there are also problems with the idea of being predictable. firstly, i do agree with determinism on this:
i. how do we know that our desire for agency isn't an exclusively human (i.e. intelligent) trait? the fact that we want free will to be true is perhaps a corollary to the fact that we have the meta-cognitive ability to think about thinking.*
ii. how do we solve the problem of the cognition blackbox? how do we accept the claim that hard determinism makes, that human cognition is completely predicated by events preceding it, without being able to observe or understand how cognition works? this sort of claim makes too many assumptions about the internal workings of the brain based on exclusively external factors.
2. how do we know that our desire for narrative consistency isn't an exclusively human (i.e. intelligent) trait? that is, how do we know causality doesn't only exist because we want it to exist, and that things seem to happen as a consequence of one another because we expect that to unfold that way, and gloss over any inconsistencies? the human brain is known to do that.
keep in mind i'm not asking you to change your mind about this because of course people end up believing what they're inclined to believe by nature, but i thought this would be an interesting addition to the discussion after mentions of "ethics" and "meaning", things which have little to do with philosophy anyhow.
* i don't agree free will "exists" in the sense of omniscient agency, but i do think there is enough randomness in the brain and enough desire for consistency between our actions that irrational and illogical actions for instance are rationalized as part of an agenda, and this randomness and instinctive nature is ironed out by the prefrontal cortex. this is nor here nor there tho.