De gustibus non est disputandum
I’m not a philosopher but a couple of issues that have occupied philosophers over perhaps millenia remain unresolved. Let’s call the concepts free will and determinism. Of course a problem that arises immediately as there seem not to be consensus definitions of either concept. They also seem to be linked (in the opinion of many) in that agreeing or disagreeing with one of these concepts entails acceptance or rejection of the other. A frequently encountered strategy is to add an adjective. So we have libertarian free will, strict determinism and so on. Below is a diagram that attempts to summarize the various proposals.
Ancient Greek atomists: Leucippus, Democritus, Epicurus proposed a reality of atoms and empty space and Epicurus added the idea of bias (παρέγκλισις) to introduce indeterminism into reality. Over two millenia later and with the world’s finest minds applied to free will and whether determinism rules this universe, no consensus (or means of testing hypotheses) has emerged so far.
So, are all of us free to choose what we believe and form our own opinions? I think Epicurus was right that the universe we occupy is fundamentally indeterminate and I also think humans who are conscious are able to make rational choices between available options. I’m also persuaded by Daniel Dennett that if this universe can be shown to be strictly determined (I’ll take an affordable bet this will not happen during my lifetime) this does not impinge significantly on the concept of free will. I don’t see how any of these issues can be resolved, hence de gustibus non est disputandum (you pays your money and you takes your choice) I look forward to hearing the views of fellow TSZ readers and contributors.