Determinism: Can someone please explain it to me?

edited August 2017 in Faith Issues
Hello. New to the board. Orthodox Christian here with a question about determinism.

So I've been reading up about it and I'm not sure I understand what it really means. I'll use the example below to show you all what I think it means and would love if anyone here would please correct me if I'm wrong.

Okay,so I'm 5 years old. I'm in the car with my mother and father. I'm in the backseat while they're both in the front. While driving to our destination, I notice a group of teenagers having a blast with their new, shiny red car. I stared for a split moment and didn't really notice any conscious excitement within myself about what was going on, but in truth I did register what was going on as exciting and fun and it was all because of that red car.

20 years go by. I'm 25 years old, have the ability to buy a new car, and the thought (from where it arose, I had no conscious clue) that comes to mind is a brand new, red, shiny car. I say, "YES!" I then go and find a car that fits that description, give the dealer a down payment and walk away with the car the same exact day.

Is this a good definition of determinism? Or have I misunderstood? If I am mistaken, please correct (or revise) the example above (fully or partially) to fit the correct definition of determinism.

Thank you.


  • hmm, think you need a philosopher. i haven't heard of this concept.

    doesn't sound like a theological question (unless I missed something when I joined the church!)

  • Some try to use determinism to negate free will. The topic is usually between determinism, libertarianism and compatibilism. I watch a lot of religious-based debates online and so that's where I've heard of this term. It's an argument that some atheists tend to use, but I've heard Christians defend this position as well.
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