Compatibility of Free Will in The Tenseless Theory of Time Essay

Compatibility of Free Will in The Tenseless Theory of Time Essay

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, The debate between free will and fatalism has existed since the conceptualization of time. On one hand, in everyday life, time flows in a uniform fashion. People experience time in which there is a past, present, and a future. Yet, physicists and philosophers see time as something completely different. In fact, they see time as an illusion. Called the tenseless theory of time, time does not flow but this theory views time as a fourth dimension where all past, present, and future events are equal (Callender & Edney, 2004). Essentially, this theory proposes that there is no passage of time and no becoming of future events. As a result, one can view this theory as a “block” universe in which every event that has happened, is happening as of right now, and is going to happen has been set in stone.
Can free will truly exist when the tenseless theory of time seems to be committed to fatalism? The topic of fatalism and free will is prominent in the tenseless theory of time. If one is faced with two choices, the illusion of free will arises because the choice that is being made is actually the one that has already been laid out. So does this mean that free will does not exist in the tenseless theory of time? A person has free will “if and only if he or she is free with regard to some actions, and a person is free with regard to some action A if and only if she has it ‘within her power’ to perform A and she has it ‘within her power’ to refrain from performing A” (Smith & Oaklander, 118). This suggests that every person does have to a certain degree of free will. If one is faced with a decision and decides to veto against the decision to do so, then it does reiterate the fact that free will does exist. This means that free will is not a...

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...etts Institute of Technology. (2014, February 20). Closing the 'free will' loophole: Using distant quasars to test Bell's theorem. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 23, 2014 from
Schurger, A., Sitt, J. D., & Dehaene, S. (2012). An accumulator model for spontaneous neural activity prior to self-initiated movement. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(42), E2904-E2913. Retrieved March 21, 2014, from
Overbye, D. (2014, March 17). Space Ripples Reveal Big Bang’s Smoking Gun.The New York Times. Retrieved March 21, 2014, from
Smith, Q., & Oaklander, L. N. (1995).Time, change, and freedom an introduction to metaphysics. London: Routledge.

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