I start with philosophy not because it contains the most inherent truth but that it puts forth the groundwork in which I can start to expand into other more detailed areas. Philosophy from the beginning was plagued with a number of hard questions concerning how man was to relate to God, time, and his motivations as an individual. Even before western philosophy proper materialized, man was considering his place in this world. Fate was one of the earliest concepts of Determinism, in which the world was a chaotic place and the universe was dependent on the moods of fallible gods.
Philosophy would change that (and then change its mind); at least it would come in and give alternatives to a chaotic existence. Starting with Parmenides and Heraclitus, two of the earliest western thinkers to argue this subject, man began to ponder the essential nature of reality. Parmenides argued that change is an illusion, there is really no such thing as motion; while Heraclitus argued that change is the essential state of reality. Heraclitus took his view from the ever moving fire and water, that by observation life needed constant change. Parmenides argument would stem from logic, an internal observation, that rejected change as an illusion; a thought that would pop up as late as Einstein. The world’s ability to change will prove to be a reoccurring theme.
Plato introduced the universal and the particular, stating that the universal (the form) will determine the infinite individuals. He bridged the gap between the earlier philosophers by asserting that the universal doesn’t change while the particular does. This is a fantastic leap, for the gap between the two is a canyon that haunts philosophy (in all its forms) and it is this gap in which we find occurring between God and man. The universal/particular distinction is the backbone for understanding determinism in the contextual light of the changing world.