The idea that the universe is deterministic and that mankind really does not possess “free will” is a problem created by logic, not a problem in reality. The conviction that the universe is deterministic produced Calvinism in the realm of religion; in modern secular philosophy it has created a weird echo of Calvinism. The illusion of determinism is created by the limitations of linear thinking. The new science of chaos and complexity offers us an alternative way of viewing causation, based on non-linear dynamics, and shows us why causation does not extend back in time to a prime mover. Local clusters of causation are complex emergent systems, and work in a manner quite opposite to traditionally conceived primordiality.
|Keywords:||Free Will, Chaos Theory, Complexity Theory, Determinism, Logic, Linear Thinking, Non-linear Dynamics, Calvinism|
Full Professor of English, Department of English, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada