And the problem with that for free will is it’s a matter of luck as far as we are concerned what past we have and therefore a matter of luck what we get to do as a result of that past.
No. With determinism, luck plays no part. Everything is preordained.
No, because it doesn’t overcome the problem of luck. It’s as simple as that.
Not quite as simple as that.
Luck or chance is an event which occurs beyond one’s control, without regard to one’s will, intention, or desired result. There are at least two senses people usually mean when they use the term, the prescriptive sense and the descriptive sense. In the prescriptive sense, luck is a supernatural and deterministic concept that there are forces (e.g. gods or spirits) which prescribe that certain events occur very much the way laws of physics will prescribe that certain events occur. It is the prescriptive sense that people mean when they say they “do not believe in luck”. In the descriptive sense, luck is a word people give after the occurrence of events which they find to be fortuitous or unfortuitous, and maybe improbable.
Do you mean luck in the prescriptive or descriptive sense?
As a fallacy?
Another view holds that “luck is probability taken personally.” A rationalist approach to luck includes the application of the rules of probability and an avoidance of unscientific beliefs. The rationalist feels the belief in luck is a result of poor reasoning or wishful thinking. To a rationalist, a believer in luck who asserts that something has influenced his or her luck commits the “post hoc ergo propter hoc” logical fallacy: that because two events are connected sequentially, they are connected causally as well. In general:
A happens (luck-attracting event or action) and then B happens;
Therefore, A influenced B.
As a self-fulfilling prophesy?
According to this theory, one who ascribes their travails to “bad luck” will be found upon close examination to be living risky lifestyles. In personality psychology, people reliably differ from each other depending on four key aspects: beliefs in luck, rejection of luck, being lucky, and being unlucky. People who believe in good luck are more optimistic, more satisfied with their lives, and have better moods. If “good” and “bad” events occur at random to everyone, believers in good luck will experience a net gain in their fortunes, and vice versa for believers in bad luck. This is clearly likely to be self-reinforcing. Thus, a belief in good luck may actually be an adaptive meme.
Different thinkers like Thomas Kuhn have discussed the role of chance in scientific discoveries. Richard Wiseman did a ten-year scientific study into the nature of luck that has revealed that, to a large extent, people make their own good and bad fortune. His researched revealed that “Lucky people generate their own good fortune via four basic principles. They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prohesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.”
Luck or chance plays a role in change and the evolution of the universe and it is futile to try and overcome it. Any philosophy of reality that claims to be able to overcome luck or chance, is suspect.
In taoist philosophy, as exemplified in the Tao Te Ching:
We put thirty spokes together and call it a wheel;
But it is on the space where there is nothing that the usefulness of the wheel depends.
We turn clay to make a vessel;
But it is on the space where there is nothing that the usefulness of the vessel depends.
We pierce doors and windows to make a house;
And it is on these spaces where there is nothing that the usefulness of the house depends.
Therefore just as we take advantage of what is, we should recognize the usefulness of what is
not. (chap. 11, tr. Waley)
And the I Ching http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Ching
The hexagrams, though, are mere mnemonics for the philosophical concepts embodied in each one. The philosophy centres around the ideas of balance through opposites and acceptance of change.
Change is the only certainty in the universe and chance is crucial for ceaseless variable change. All we need to do is to accept chance and change.
It is that simple.