Consequence argument means taking a radical claim between compatibilism and determinism. Compatibilism is the free will to do whatever one wishes to do because it is in their own nature. In the free will debate of “Consequence Argument,” Peter van Inwagen, the author of An Essay on Free Will, takes on a compatibilist view by arguing that determinism is not true because one cannot be held responsible for their own actions. Determinism is the belief that human actions or free will have either a positive or an effect in the future. John Martin Fischer, professor of philosophy at the University of California, takes on a determinist view by arguing that compatibilism is never true because one must be held responsible for their own actions. Between both views on compatibilism and determinism, I will explain how the Consequence Argument can be challenged.
According to Peter van Inwagen, the reason for his disbelief in determinism is due to the notion that humans has the right to do whatever they want because they are born with free will. His argument against determinism are the following: "If determinism is true, then our acts are the consequences of the laws of nature and events in the remote past. But it is not up to us what went on before we were born, and neither is it up to us what the laws of nature are. Therefore, the consequences of these things (including our present acts) are not up to us."1 Peter van Inwagen explains how we cannot be responsible for our actions because there were no such things as laws before laws were created. He expresses how compatibilism has been in existence before laws were even made. Since laws puts certain restrictions on human’s free will, it should not stop humans from doing what he or she wants t...
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...es in the future.
Through the argument between determinism and compatibilism, the Consequence Argument can be challenged because we live in a determinist world where we are judged by others if we behave a certain way that is deemed not normal or unacceptable (e.g. the free will to wear an underwear as a hat in public). Also, there are laws that exist that not only restricts human’s free will but also protects humans from danger. Laws exist to ensure that people are safe because some people have misused their free will as a way to behavior both morally and immorally. Isn’t that why laws were in the first place, because people does not have a control over their actions which affects others? However, one of the consequences of one breaking the law includes prison time. Due to this consequence argument between compatibilism and determinism, we no longer have free will.
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