Does determinism matter?
Had a thought today about determinism in P&E that I want to explore. In light of Heidegger's da-sein, can we put the determinism we get out of physical reductionism into the same place as external skepticism? That is, maybe we're brains in vats or being toyed with by an evil demon, but so what, it doesn't feel that way so it doesn't really affect our lives at all. Similarly, if we somehow found out tomorrow that our lives and actions and decisions ARE reducible to physical principles and everything is determined, it wouldn't change the way we live our lives since it never at any moment FEELS as if that is what is going on. I for one would still care about all the same things and still make conscious decisions and still have the same goals. I would still "take care" in the world, as Heidegger would say. For that is what it is to be human. If we lost this condition of "taking care" we could no longer be classified as human beings (da-seins).
Now, this is all being said under the assumption that we somehow discovered determinism was true without being able to use it to know in advance everything that was going to happen. Naturally, if we did we WOULD make some changes in our cares and decisions and goals. For example, if we could foresee that Harry was going to commit some heinous crime next week, we might find it in our power to prevent this from happening, but problems would arise immediately here.
One, we would also foresee that we try to prevent Harry from committing the crime, but he must somehow commit it anyway if we foresaw it. But then why go through the trouble of trying to prevent it? Or, if we DID successfully prevent it then what we foresaw was wrong. But to be fair to determinism and escape the immanent paradox, we never would have foreseen him committing the crime, we would have foreseen ourselves foreseeing the crime and preventing it, but not actually foreseen the crime happening.
Does anyone want to pick up on the next step here? Does this make sense or sound interesting? I know it is a lot like "Minority Report" but I've never seen it. No time to continue this at the moment, but I want to expose that there is still a paradox here, and also that moral issues are raised (as they always are when determinism is involved).