Time and time again people express to me their feeling that if determinism is true and the “future is inevitable” due to this, that everything is “pointless”. That for some reason us being able to freely will a change in the future implies some sort of meaningfulness that an entirely causal universe doesn’t have.
This, however, is what is called a “non-sequitur” in philosophical terms. That means the conclusion (e.g. “everything is pointless”) doesn’t follow from the premises (e.g. the universe is deterministic, the future state is a causally inevitable, etc.).
Just because the universe is deterministic, doesn’t mean that what we do is futile. In this earlier infographic I stressed the differences between fatalism and determinism. Both fatalism and determinism are incompatible with free will, but only one has a reasoned foundation. And only one is “futile” (meaning what we think, say, or do is pointless). In the infographic I made this comparison at the end:
This distinction is extremely important. And it doesn’t just apply to “calling the doctor” but rather to the point of everything we think, say, and do…and how such actions causally lead to future outcomes. Rather than being “pointless”, our actions are very “pointed”. They are just causally pointed, which of course makes sense considering the absurdity of “uncaused pointedness”.
I’d also like to list a few common non-sequiturs (conclusions that don’t follow from determinism):