We ought then regard the present state of the universe as the effect of
its previous state and the cause of the one which is to follow. An intelligence
knowing at a given instant of time all the forces operating in nature, as well
as the position at that instant of all things of which the universe consists,
would be able to comprehend the motions of the largest bodies in the universe
and those of the smallest atoms in a single formula - provided that it was
sufficiently powerful to submit all these data analysis. To it nothing would
be uncertain and the future would be present to its eyes as much as the past.
This passage comes from P.S. de Laplace's "Philosophical Essay on
Probabilities." If such determinism is true, then everyone's every thought and
action must be inevitable; that no one really has any choice about anything,
because we are all helpless products of blind forces which have made us what we
are. In this paper concerning the free will and determinism debate I will
argue that determinism is not plausible, I shall do this by giving reasons for
determining how determinism is false, give arguments for determinism, and then
refute those arguments.
There are those who think that our behavior is a result of free choice,
but there are others who presume "we are servants of cosmic destiny or that
behavior is nothing but a reflex of heredity and environment." The position
of determinism is that every event is the necessary outcome of a cause or set
of causes. That everything is a consequence of external forces, and such
forces produce all that happens. Man is not free. If we accept the
determinist argument and assume human behavior as a consequence of external
factors rather than of free choice, then we must realize that our explanation
of human behavior leaves no room for morality. If people do not choose their
actions, then they are not really responsible for them, and there is no need
for praising or blaming them.... [continues]
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"Our Free Will." StudyMode.com. 10, 1999. Accessed 10, 1999. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Our-Free-2970.html.