Complacent Determinacy and Free Will: Will you want fries with that?

Betsy Calabaza
3 min readJul 8, 2021


Shooting with your eyes closed, fuck you doing, meditating?

  • Young Pappy

The question for philosophy since time immemorial (ie around 500 bce) is whether the way we engage with the world is of any consequence.

Socrates in his wisdom, only matched by his beauty, says that, epistemologically speaking, he didn’t know if his engagement with the world was anything but trivial.

Philosophy is historically and within our culture divided as composed of epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, logic, and metaphysics.

Before the rest are of any value, we first have to determine of what significance/consequence is our knowledge (episteme).

Do we have the means to do anything? What means do we have? What means can we create by the way we engage with the world?

A tall person may have more means than a shorter person in finding success in sports that favor the tall. But if the tall person is in poor health, then the shorter person has more means.

Means are like metaphysical roads. If free will exist or if compatibilism exists, it means that there is a choice in the roads we perceive as “being” in front of us.

The roads we use to judge others. “Why did you take this route instead of this one?”, “This road was in front of you and you chose the other one?”, “You chose this road now it’s your turn to cross it.”

Our judgements, or engagement, with the world/universe is either planned ahead of our awareness of Reality or it helps unravel the way in which Reality unravels.

That our judgments influence the way the universe expands the same way the Big Bang influenced the universe to expand is a radical notion that requires us to absolutely step back in any given situation and see what we can learn. Learning is a disengagement from judgment. A disengagement from judgment means that we can analyze the possible different outcomes in our near future insofar as our actions/influence can play a role within the action/outcome.

There’s a reciprocal relationship, then, where our actions weave the actions we’ll be able to take. For example, a student that graduates from medical school can become a doctor or a window washer at red lights. A window washer without a college degree could also weave their action so that they too could choose between being a doctor or a window washer at red lights but the road they have to take is more arduous than the medical school graduate that already went through the necessary hardship.

If the parents of the med student were able to provide the graduate with “better” resources for establishing a social standing, then we could say that the road the graduate took was not that hard. If the window washer was given less resources growing up, we would say their life was harder. We would also say, however, that both were given the same opportunity in some ways. To live, for example, is an equal opportunity. The conditions may differ but in a “universe doesn’t give a shit” kinda way, the conditions don’t differ.

That we see a difference in the two life paths means we do give a shit. Even if ironically the shit we give is an evolutionary by-product of a none-shit-giving universe, we are left with an awareness of our stance. “Why am I the way I am?” may be unanswerable but as we have seen with non-sentient critters, those epistemological topics need not be considered to exist and act.

That, as human, we first find ourselves standing and ready to observe before we have all the answers let’s us know that our knowledge is measured by practicality. Knowledge grounded in pragmatics reveals the logic, ethics, metaphysics, and aesthetics in our stance and observations. The first measure is the one of ourselves and it’s done for us. From the first measure, we can contemplate if we can do anything for ourselves; directly, indirectly, reciprocally.



Betsy Calabaza

blooms — crazy rants masked as abstract experimental philosophy. s/o CS Peirce