How are hard determinists happy?

Dennett is not a hard determinist, and his thoughts might help you out with your feelings even if they move you away from hard determinism.

We are not in full control of our fate, but to say that we have no control of our fate seems, to me, to be confusing our selves with the Universe that contains our selves. Like looking at a university bookstore and saying "I see the university, but where is the university bookstore". Or to put it another way, if I throw a ball against a wall and it hits me in the face by virtue of its unexpected bounciness, I would not say that I hit myself in the face with a ball, but that something of the essence of the ball caused it to hit me in the face. The ball's nature had causative power; my nature has causative power. My nature can be isolated and identified.

We are an entity that - if removed from the Universe - would leave an us-shaped hole. And, I think, it makes sense to talk of ourselves as a system that can be separated from and distinguished from the Universe in general. So clearly we exist and we have some kind of effect on the Universe. If somehow suddenly swept up and placed as a complete system in a different Universe, we would have an effect on that Universe in accordance with our characters, our personalities, our essence. I see this as being control, in that we can and do affect the Universe in accordance with our selves. Our presence is meaningful, even though it could never be otherwise.

I hope this all makes sense, I've only just returned from a trip to a rather disturbing place and I may be babbling nonsense.

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