Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


A Journey into Determinism – David Fang

Determinism is the concept of belief that one’s choices in life is largely shaped by the reactions of preceding events. Its the notion that one’s presumption of self and free will – the ability to pave one’s own path in life – is false, and that there is very little choice in life. Determinism is a concept that has withstood the stand of time, and I myself am a follower of this belief. In this post, I will be going over the validation of this method of belief and how I am able to rationalize it.

Premise 1: Every action has a foreseen chain of consequences – reactions

Premise 2: All of our foregone and foreseen actions are reactions to previous actions

Conclusion Our actions cause an endless chain of reactions that shape our lives



Premise 1: Every action can cause a foreseen chain of consequences – reactions

An action is defined by the process of doing anything that enacts a change. Whenever there is an action, there is always a consequence, consequences can be suppressed or mitigated, for example we can suppress/ mute the sound of a music player , but the act of the music playing incites a change in the grander scheme of things. In free will and epistemology, an action is defined by something that a human does with intention and a motive, whether conscious or unconscious.

However, nevertheless, every single action has a reaction however small or big. One action that we commit can cause the reaction of another. For example an office worker might receive a raise of 5000$, and in turn spends that on buying a painting from an independent artist which helps the artist blossom into a career of excellence. And one of the only reasons the office worker received a raise in the first place was because his boss was in a good mood because …. and the list goes on. This sequence itself was caused by a near infinite amount of reactions, and each action helped to add onto that chain.


Premise 2: All of our foregone and foreseen actions are reactions to previous actions

Our motivations and such are largely based on how we react to the consequences of the actions in the past. For example, a student may want to enter a certain university because of a chain event of reactions that sparked the excellence of that university and our recognized notion of excellence for that university. Everything we have done in the past, whether it was the choice for food, the choice for recreation etc. were apart of the endless chain of reactions that we partake in. The very scenario in which choices are presented are the reactions of the past.

A more direct example of this phenomenon would be if someone’s actions were to directly affect us. For example a person might physically hurt you or those around you, and that might cause you to react in a way which is directly coherent to that person’s actions. Whether its indirect or direct, all of our choices and the scenarios presented to us is a reaction of the events from the past, and our choices, the action that we choose to take, pave way for more choices.

Conclusion: Our actions cause an endless chain of reactions that shape our lives

Our actions in itself can come back to affect us, as it adds to the endless chain of reactions. A good example would be the way we treat others, which in turn might discern or invigorate the views of the people around us and that might in turn affect the choices and opportunities that are presented to us. Every action that we make have lasting consequences, and some actions spark multiple chains of reactions, which can multiple to a near infinite causation. A simple action such as saying hi to someone or not flushing the toilet at a public washroom might affect the world and those around us more than what it would seem.


Finally, everything that we perceive around us and the choices that we are presented are just simply reactions of the choices and actions that those preceding us have made. Our reaction to their actions, spark a chain of near infinite amount of actions that mark the future!


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