In this essay, Walter T. Stace writes about how the existence of free will is not a real problem, that a lot of people may not believe in free will because they do not have the correct definition of it, but if they did then they would know it does exist. (Barnet) Stace says that the confusion about free will is a semantic problem which is just a confusion of words, an example of a semantic problem that he uses in his essay is about the definition of a man (Barnet). He says if a person thinks that the word man meant five-legged animal, then they would not believe in men because they would never see a five-legged animal anywhere and that is exactly the same thing that is happening with the term free will. (Barnet) Stace thinks that the reason people do not believe in the existence of free will is because they have a definition of it that is not right, people defined free will as indeterminism, which according to Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “a theory that not every event has a cause”. (Merriam-Webster) They do not believe in the existence of free will because of that definition that, according to Stace, is neither correct nor incorrect because the true definition “accords with the...
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...actions. For example, if a child is telling lies then you punish him with a mild beating so that the next time he wants to lie, he will remember the pain and fear that it caused him last time and hopefully he will tell the truth instead, the action of the child telling a lie is determined by causes (Barnet).
If there was no determinism then you would not know what somebody might do because everything would be unpredictable. However, everything that people do is determined by causes and motives, like if the child finally started telling the truth, it was because of something that had happened to him before as in he was punished, which is determinism. In that case pain was the cause of telling the truth and the answer to the question, after all the examples given is very simple. Determinism is consistent with free will because without determinism there is no free will.
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