Determinism Vs. Free Will Essay

Determinism Vs. Free Will Essay

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One of the most widely discussed topics in the field of philosophy is the concept of determinism. Determinism is “the thesis that only one continuation of the state of things at a given moment is consistent with the laws of nature” (Inwagen). In other words, people do not act of our own accord but rather by the hand of a greater force in a predetermined series of events. The theory of determinism opposes that of free will, which is the belief that we have the choice to do whatever we want to do. This theory has been mulled over and over again by philosophers who believe that the laws of nature highly suggest the existence of only one pathway of events, a path that is strictly based on an exact chain of cause and effect that can be traced back to the beginning of time.
I don’t believe that the existence of determinism would automatically rule out the possibility of free will. The human mind’s existence was proven in Descartes’s Meditations in some of the earliest days of philosophy. Even if someone were to somehow prove that everything in history of the universe has been predetermined, the implications of this fact could only extend far enough to prove that everything is based on a detailed, sequential path. It certainly wouldn’t disprove the fact that we are living, thinking beings. It remains true that whatever I choose to do with my life an hour from now, tomorrow, or next year will be just that- my choice. So, if we are predestined to do whatever it is that fate has in store for us, it’s because an exact chain of events led me to make the decision to do so. In other words, determinism would only preclude free action and not free will. Therefore, I would classify myself as a compatibilist.
In order to properly asses the theory o...


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... a specific time, place, and to a specific set of parents, and that all of this is the reason that you are who you are. This theory would remove the fallacious implication that we are mindless robots and instead attribute our actions to a force more powerful than we can even conceptualize.
Although this explanation is the most plausible one I can muster, it would obviously still depend on the existence of a God that I don’t believe in. For incompatibilism to be logical, there would have to be an omniscient, all-powerful being controlling us, and there’s just too much evidence pointing to the fact that “complex life emerges as the eventual consequence [of natural selection]” (Dawkins). Therefore, if incompatibility depends on the existence of God, and it is highly improbable that God exists, then it must follow that incompatibility is not a logical school of thought.

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