Critically Examine the Claim That Free Will and Determinism Are Incompatible

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Critically examine the claim that free will and determinism are incompatible
One of the main questions that we face is whether or not, we as humans have genuine freedom. Are we free to make our own choices? Do we decide what happens in our lives in the future? Or are our lives set pathways in which we have no say at all? Are all our choices already decided? In other words, do we have free will or are our actions pre-determined, or both? Hard determinists, libertarians and soft determinists all set out to provide answers to these questions, holding different views on whether or not free will and determinism are compatible. Both hard determinists and libertarians believe that free will and determinism are incompatible but hard determinists reject the idea of free will whereas libertarians support the idea of free will and reject determinism. On the other hand, soft determinists believe that free will and determinism are in fact compatible.
Hard determinists believe in the theory of universal causation-that is for every physical even, there is a prior physical cause. Benedict Spinoza out it as ‘In the mind there is no absolute or free will; but the mind is determined to will this or that by a cause, which has been determined by another cause, and this last by another cause, and so on until infinity.’ They say that as the universe in governed by laws of nature, with enough information, we could necessitate what will happen and therefore accurately predict everything that will happen in the future. This area of determinism is known as scientific determinism who, in the words Pierre-Simon Laplace, believe that ‘If you know the speed and position of a particle, it would be possible to know their position at any other time’, meaning that you can predict the future by the state of the universe now. Humans are part of the universe and like everything else, are made up of particles and so are governed by the laws of nature. All our actions have a prior cause and choices that

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