On The Asymmetry Between Determinism And Indeterminism
The standard argument against free will assumes that determinism and indeterminism are two equal horns of the dilemma.
Either determinism or indeterminism is true, goes the basic argument, and either way freedom and/or moral responsibility are impossible. In the recent free will debates, many compatibilist and incompatibilist philosophers have declared themselves agnostic on the "truth" of determinism or indeterminism. However, the differences between determinism and indeterminism are immense and full of historical philosophical significance. We will argue that indeterminism is far more difficult to reconcile with freedom and responsibility than determinism is.
Determinism is rational, causal, nomological (law-like)The basic idea of determinism behind causal laws is congenial to many ways of thought. As a result, many different determinisms have been invented.
Indeterminism is irrational, acausal chanceWhere there are many determinisms, it appears that there is only one indeterminism, confirmed by modern quantum mechanics to be irreducible chance events that are only probabilistic in nature. Historically, chance has been vilified in past centuries as atheistic (implying the lack of God's foreknowledge) and incoherent. It is the unintelligibilty of chance that gives libertarian indeterministic free will its bad names. But we now know that the universe began in a state of chaos, and the microscopic world of particle collisions is still chaotic, a place where chance rules and processes are purely probabilistic. The microworld of atomic particles contains no information, no history, no individuals with memories. Large scale structures emerge from, and continue to operate "on top of" microscopic chaos, as a result of cosmic information creation processes (we call them ergodic).