View Full Version : Determinism vs Free Will

Angel of Music
17th Aug 2003, 07:18
I have noticed throughout this saga numerous clashes of what is, was, and will always be with the attempts of a few to produce a particular outcome. The philosophy of determinism is the idea that destiny or fate is absolute, immutable, and whatever is perceived as a conscious choice was in fact decided from the beginning. Free will on the other hand is a philosphy holding that nothing is predestined, and that the future is built upon the decisions of the present, on random chance. Now my question is:
Kain is characterized by Raziel numerous times as being fatalistic(i.e. a determinist), and Kain himself supports this claim with all of his rhetoric about the rigid nature of the timestream, about how the timestream cannot be redirected. Why then, if Kain's deterministic philosophies are so "profoundly ingrained" does he even attempt to alter the course of history at all? He appears to contradict himself, or at least his own philosophy by this. If one believes history is absolute, then isn't trying to adjust it much like expectorating into the wind?

18th Aug 2003, 05:28
Well, despite his fatalism, he's seen the timestream change course... he himself altered time by killing William the Just. What's worse is that his misadventure was all part of someone else's machinations.

Kain, while being fatalistic, sees the unlikely prospect of change. From his coin toss monologue in SR2 it seems that he enjoys a challenge, and despite knowing how the timestream works; he really hates being a pawn of anybody or anything (just like a certain jawless blue chap we know).

Combine all these things and you find the perfect motive for him to stir things up in the time stream.

Also, I wouldn't necessarily put it past him (I mean I think he's beyond this, but still) for all of this time altering stuff to be one last "screw you" to Mobius... regardless of the fact that he's dead already.

18th Aug 2003, 14:04
Originally posted by Buz
Well, despite his fatalism, he's seen the timestream change course... he himself altered time by killing William the Just. What's worse is that his misadventure was all part of someone else's machinations.

Yes. And Kain also altered time when he convinced Raziel to not kill him in the chapel, which wasn't really Raziel's free will at all. It was Kain's. But he manipulated Raziel in a way to make Raz believe it was his own choice. Extremely clever.

18th Aug 2003, 17:32
Yes, Kain tends to be really smart.
But I beg to differ.....it still was Raziels choice no matter how it hapenned.....people can manipulate you into MAKING that choice but it is still your free will.

Angel of Music
19th Aug 2003, 03:31
The chapel scene is one of my all time favorites. Kain plays that reverse psyche card with extreme finesse there. Raziel is driven from all sides to destroy Kain, and Kain finally says " Well here it is. This is where you kill me. This is where you have always killed me, your grand revenge and the restoration of the pillars. Is it everything you hoped for?" And Raziel, the 'champion of free will' can only say "No! I get to decide when, where, and how. I don't wanna!" I couldn't help but giggle. Kain did seem a little worried though, as if he weren't quite sure of Raziel's abilities.

Lozza Mate
19th Aug 2003, 08:52
Kain is not a determinist. He simply knows that a certain form of fate does exist, but that does not mean that he is willing to conform to it.

He accepts the presence of Fate, but that does not mean that he likes it.

Angel of Music
27th Oct 2003, 08:29
I was lured into arguing philosphy with my friend the other day, and, as is the custom, we arrived once again on the topic of free will. However, this time neither of us could come to an acceptable conclusion about either side of this particular debate.
The best we could do is that free will is the presence of an option, at the present. However, in the end, a decision will be made, regardless of outside factors and influences. Here is where Murphy's law becomes important. I can accept the idea of determinsm or fate under a few conditions. 1) No one can know that the course is set, or where it is set, and 2) There must be an infinite sea of possibilities whereas every option is explored(I believe there was once a Star Trek TNG on this). Even at that though, free will exists only up to the making of a choice, after that, the course is set to the next choice in that line, and we have determinism, hardcore.

3) J K L M N O
\ / \ / \ /
| | |
2) D E F G H I
\ / \ / \ /
\ / \ / \ /
| | |
1) A B C

I know my graphic is crude, but bear with me. We can see that a decision A excludes all future possibilities except those (D,E,J,K) on its lines. So therefore, I have exhibited a limited form of determinism. At level one, free will exists, this is obvious. But after a choice is made, chance goes right out yon window. Then we are led to the next choice, say (D,E). From here, in hindsight, we can logically say that the course was preordained, because we made a choice at level one, and we chose A, and in this particular history we chose A, and will always choose A, because we did arrive at (D,E), and the only way to arrive there was to choose A.
So, the conclusion I arrive at, once again, is that determinism is a very hindsighted way of viewing things, but free will exists like a tangent on an erratic curve, instantaneously, at the moment of decision, then we are compelled down the path we chose.