Essay on Free Will and Determinism

Topics: Free will, Determinism, Causality Pages: 2 (665 words) Published: February 28, 2012
Explain what freedom and physical determinism are and why they seem to conflict. How would you resolve this conflict? Give reasons for your answer. Physical determinism is believing in the fact that every event has a cause. (Theodore Sider, pg 113) And that a chain reaction of such would cause an inevitable event to occur. E.g. The invasion of Poland by Hitler in 1939. (Theodore Sider, pg 115) Freedom is the belief that you are able to act on your own free will irrespective of what event has occured, that a decision you make is entirely of your own volition. It is the belief that our life is not predetermined and we are able to influence our future. FROM A SCIENTIFIC POINT OF VIEW, THE DECISIONS WE MAKE AND HOW WE BEHAVE ARE STUDYABLE, EXPLAINABLE AND IF GIVEN ENOUGH TIME, PREDICTABLE AND CONTROLLABLE. (THEODORE SIDER, PG 114) THIS WOULD INDICATE WHEN THE 'WHY' WE DO WHAT WE DO IS DISCOVERED, WE CAN FULLY DETERMINE WHAT A PERSON WOULD DO IN A CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT, THUS LEADING TO THE DETERIORATION OF FREEDOM FOR THAT PERSON. There are 3 ways to resolve this conflict, of which the first is to reject the belief of freedom in what is called hard determinism. (Theodore Sider, pg 117) A complete rejection of freedom would demean any meaning of living so I will not consider it. THE OPPOSITE OF THIS IS THE LIBERTARIAN, WHICH BELIEVES THAT PEOPLE ARE EXCLUDED FROM DETERMINISM AS THE SCIENCE IS UNABLE TO COMPLETELY STUDY , OR RATHER, MAKE SENSE OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND PREDICT WHAT A HUMAN CAN DO. (THEODORE SIDER, PG 119) I FEEL THIS IS BECAUSE OF THE DIFFICULTY IN OBTAINING THE ABSURD AMOUNT OF INFORMATION AND FACTORS THAT WILL ALLOW FOR THE PREDICTION OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR.

The problem with the libertarian's explaination is the lack of definition for the word freedom, as rejecting determinism would mean actions of a person would be uncaused, and therefore random. (Theodore Sider, pg 119) Thus an idea called agent causation is found, such that you only act freely when your...
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