How to not be a fatalist? Need help from people who care about true beliefs.

byLaoch5y7th Dec 201385 comments


Dear LessWrongers

I've been struggling a bit with the idea of fatalism or at least I keep find myself slipping that direction.To be clear the only reason I use the word fatalism is because of it's dictionary definition. I have not allegiance to the concept. Are there powerful arguments to counter fatalism? I've read the sequence about dissolving the question about free will for example, i.e. I understand how the question itself(have I free will?) is incoherent. I.e. free from what?

I also accept that I am a physics and that my cognition and subjective experience are more than adequately accounted for by non mysterious understandings of the evolution of life. However I can't seem to figure out a way of reconciling my current understanding of those ideas with the idea that I'm in control of my future. Maybe I already have the answer and haven't got the corresponding affective/emotional state which is not an unprecedented problem for me.

My biggest fear is that for me to believe that my future is not set that I'm going to take on some irrational silly belief? Can anybody give some useful algo's for thinking about this in a coherent, detached from desire way?

One thing that I've heard is that physics is non-deterministic but I always thought that had to do with the observer. Surely particles were going to do what they were going to do anyway regardless of whether I can determine the reason or not?

Thanks for reading,