Hard Determinism

Topics: Causality, Free will, Determinism Pages: 3 (826 words) Published: April 11, 2013
Free and Enslaved:
A Case for Hard Determinism
Are you free to do as you choose? The vast majority of people would say yes, but consider this; the connection between the past and the future is incredibly strong. Therefore if there is only one past, the question is how much control does that past have over the future? According to hard determinism, the past completely determines the future because all the conditions of the past ultimately shape and cause the future to occur. This means that your current actions and choices are part of a causal chain. This causal chain extends far before your birth, and each link of the chain determines the next. Hence, although it may appear to you that you have control over your present actions and mental states, you really have no control. Therefore all your human wants, desires, motivations, feelings, etc. are caused by antecedent conditions that ensure their occurrence, so you are not free to do as you choose.

The notion that the past completely determines the future, the idea of causality, is supported by the claim that all events have a cause. When a ball is released, it will fall. The ball being released and gravity are the causes of the ball falling; thank you Isaac Newton for that explanation. Just like releasing the ball and having gravity triggered the ball to fall, certain events occur because of specific causes. Therefore once a cause occurs, the effect is bound to occur as well. Since the effect is bound to occur we have no power to act in any other way because the causes that will create the effect has already occurred. Yet people say that they make choices everyday, the illusion of free will. If you do not look at causes of immediate effects then you will see that all the choices which were even a choice are bound to occur because of the past. The fact that you have certain desires or motivations are all caused by effects which you had no choice over. For example you were born in a certain time period,...
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