Compatibilism is the thesis that all events have a cause and are determined but we still have free will or, as Sider states, ‘we can retain both freedom and determinism’ (Sider 2005, 125). Van Inwagen states that ‘we must distinguish between a future’s being “internally” physically possible and its having a physically possible connection with the present’ (van Inwagen 2002, 205). By internally physically possible, van Inwagen means events that can actually happen and are within the laws of nature (van Inwagen 2002, 205). For example, it is internally physically possible that I will buy a packet of crisps for lunch today. By having a physically possible connection with the present, van Inwagen means events that are conceivable and logically possible given the present events (van Inwagen 2002, 206). Van Inwagen argues that the only way in which an internally physically possible future that...
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...m cannot be rejected.
I believe that compatibilism is true because it is a stronger and more convincing argument than the incompatibilist positions. Incompatibilism appears to be illogical as both positions can be seen to be extreme. Libertarianism rejects evidence shown by science and hard determinism appears to go against all of our moral beliefs. As a result it appears that we cannot reject free will or determinism and, therefore, compatibilism must be true.
Word Count: 1484
Plantinga, Alvin, "Religion and Science", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), forthcoming URL =
Sider, T. & Conee, E. (2005) Riddles of Existence. New York: Oxford University Press.
Van Inwagen, P. (2002) Metaphysics (2nd Edition). Cambridge: Westview Press
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