Nov 092015


The above infographic gives a quick rundown on REAL possibilities in both a causally deterministic universe (one where every event has a cause) and an indeterministic universe (one where some events do not have a cause).

Keep in mind that an infographic just shows a quick view of the position. If you want the full logical case in all it’s detail check out my book Breaking the Free Will Illusion on Amazon.

Be sure to check out all of the awesome “no free will” infographics on this website:

If you like any of them be sure to share ’em on social media or even on your own website with a link back to the original.



If you can’t read the infographic (due to an impairment or any reason), here is the text:



  • A cause cannot both be the cause of X, and not the cause of X (but of Y instead) as that leads to a self-contradictory cause. This means that if a cause has the variables that lead to X, Y is never a “real” possibility.
  • If every event has a cause, then there is only ever one “real” possibility that is dictated by the long line of causal events that lead to it.


If our thoughts and decisions are caused, what we decide at any given moment was dictated by causality. Even if we weigh and assess multiple options and select from those options, the option we ultimately select was the only “real possibility”. We never could have selected one of those other options that we deliberated on.


  • If an event can happen in which a cause did not force it to occur, it could effect the causal lines to output a different “possibility” than without the non-caused event.
  • Even though a non-caused event can push what was causally determined to a new possibility, there can never be any say over if this non-caused event happens, where or when it happens, or how it comes into existence. You can’t cause it.
  • Once a non-caused event is in existence, how it effects other events afterward is dictated by causality, unless yet another non-caused event pops in, which is equally outside of anyone’s ability to control.


If a non-caused event has an effect on the causal process that leads to our decisions, we would have no say on the non-caused event. If our decision redirected to another option, that other option would now be a “possible” option, but it was forced by an event that was entirely outside of our control. It would not be “up to us” or “of our own accord”.


The ability to choose between more than one (really) possible option, in which that choice is “up to you”.

If everything has a cause, only one option is ever a real possibility, all others were just a part of the process that lead to you deciding on the only one possibility. If some events do not have a cause, such an event could push another option into possibility, but such a push could never be “up to you”.


The ability to have, of your own accord, done otherwise.

If everything has a cause, you could not have done otherwise than what that causality dictates as there was no other “real” possibility. If some events do not have a cause, those events could never have been “of your own accord”.


There are many philosophical, political, sociological, and psychological topics that need to adjust with the understanding that we don’t have these abilities. The understanding that we lack this type of “free will” is extremely important to these topics and toward our own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

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'Trick Slattery

'Trick Slattery is the author of Breaking the Free Will Illusion for the Betterment of Humankind. He's an author, philosopher, artist, content creator, and entrepreneur. He has loved and immersed himself in philosophy since he was teenager. It is his first and strongest passion. Throughout the years he has built a philosophy based on analytic logic and critical thinking. Some of the topics he is most interested in are of a controversial variety, but his passion for the topics and their importance drives him to want to express these ideas to others. His other passions include pen and ink line art and digital artwork.

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  4 Responses to “(Real) Possibilities and Our Decisions – INFOGRAPHIC”

Comments (4)
  1. In normal usage, a person’s “options” are also called “possibilities”.

    If you look up “option” in the dictionary (SOED) you’ll see “possibility” in the definition along with other synonyms. If you look up “possibility” in SOED you’ll find that it is “The condition or quality of being possible; ability to be done, happen, or exist.”

    There is no logical requirement that a possibility must happen. Therefore, the most accurate word for communicating what you mean is “inevitability”. For example: “There are many possibilities but only one inevitability.”

    • “Possibility” is often (given context) the same as saying “possible option” (not merely “option” but a certain type of option that “can” happen). In fact I can say “that option was never a possibility” and that would denote how the option wasn’t in the “possible” category.

      I’m saying that, given determinism (every event having a cause), the other “options” are never “possible options” (a “possibility”).I’m saying that those options do not meet “the conditions or quality of being possible”. I’m saying that do not have the “ability to be done”. I’m saying that they can never “happen or exist”.

      It isn’t about the idea that it “must happen”, it is entirely about whether is “could happen”(could be be actualized) or not. This should be clear when the infographic talks about indeterminism in which case it “could happen” – but in no way asserts it “must”. But of course with a non-caused or random event such would be entirely out of the control of “us”.

      The word “inevitability” applies only to the one option that “must happen”, but it isn’t a word that is required here nor is it proper to use it in this context. In fact, given that there is two options that were both actually possible and 3 that were not possible – you cannot denote the three that were not possible through the word inevitability (as the two wouldn’t be inevitable). It just so happens, given a causal universe, that ALL of the other options were never really “possible options”. They were never “possibilities”.

      Also this infographic even qualifies the word “possibility” with the word “real” in case someone were to confuse the epistemic (what we might imagine) with the ontic (what can actually happen).

      But I’ve gone over this with you before. This time, however, you kept your comment un-bloated and acceptable. That was a nice change.

      Later good sir. :-)

      • That’s alright. You can’t be blamed for misunderstanding how language is used. You had no control over what you did. And that is why we have scheduled you for TMS and memory reprograming. Since your “self” is just an illusion, we are free to operate without fear of injuring any rights that a “person with free will” might have. It is a simple operation to put the chip in your brain. It’s a simple matter of “fixing” you. You’ll be much better in the morning. :-)

        • If I did misunderstand something, you are correct, I can’t be blamed. That being said, I have displayed in detail how it is you who has the misunderstanding about language and logical understanding. The fact that you won’t let yourself read and understand these facts only shows how you lack the freedom you think you have.

          I just contacted the brain reprogramming initiative and they looked both of our accounts up. They said that your assessment about me needing a chip was a mistake, but I asked them if I could get one anyway. When I asked about you, they said that you will be given a few chances before mandatory chip placement. They ask that I notify you of this:

          The brain reprogramming initiative has taken in the facts, and has determined that you have been given the proper information in many iterations but your brain is still unable to parse it and adjust accordingly. You couldn’t have done otherwise. The initiative is willing to see if your brain naturally comes to the correct conclusion, but you are running out of iterations that it will allow for. If the facts are repeated to you a few more times but your brain still doesn’t make the proper connections, the men in black suits will be at your door to take you to the chip implant facility.

          Take care. 😀

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