Ethics

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"God will know what ethical decisions we will make". Discuss.

Although as humans we behave as if we are free, it is possible that our actions are determined by an external force beyond our control. Although it appears that every event has a cause, some believe that only God knows what we will do and when.

There are three main approaches we should consider when answering this question; Hard Determinism, Libertarianism and Soft Determinism.

Hard Determinism is the theory that everything in the universe has a cause which precedes it. This is the basis of science, if it wasn't the case that one event or set of circumstances lead to another, scientific observation, and the conclusions drawn, would be pointless and meaningless. John Locke gave the example of a man who wakes up in a room that, unknown to him, is locked from the outside. He chooses to stay in the room, believing he has chosen freely. In reality, he has no option. However, his ignorance of this gives him an illusion of freedom. Although, with hard determinism there is an issue raised about moral responsibility. If all of our actions are predetermined then surely we can't be held responsible for them. Kant says that moral responsibility is only possible with free will. He argued for the idea of transcendental freedom, freedom that is as a presupposition of the question "what ought I to do?" Modern hard determinists, such as John Hospers, claim that there is always something within us that urges us to make a choice that we believe was the result of our free will. We may not always be aware of any urging in our choice making, however we have all made choices and not remembered how or why we made them. Hard determinists would therefore argue that God does know which ethical decisions we will make, as we have no free will, we are unable to control what action we take.

Soft determinism accepts that all of our actions are determined. However, it states that there is a difference between Ghandi...
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