Anonymous asked: Can you further explain determinism? Can there be random/spontaneous events in a deterministic universe?
Determinism, as I conceive it, is the idea that thing-events are interconnected via a causal web. This is an extrapolation from the fact that by understanding the causal relationships between thing-events we are able to predict how they are going to unfold. From the deterministic point of view, randomness implies ignorance of causal relationships on our part. In other words, randomness is a property of our mental models—not what those models are trying to describe.
Ask a mathematician what randomness is and you’ll get into trouble. Randomness, and therefore indeterminacy and free will, are not intelligible—cannot be coherently conceived of. This doesn’t mean they aren’t real, it just means we are hard-wired to think through determinism. Therefore, it is wise not to be absolutist with regards to determinism.
But, for all purposes, I consider myself a determinist.