Defense of Hard Determinism

Topics: Causality, Determinism, Free will Pages: 3 (1100 words) Published: January 10, 2012
Hard Determinism argues that every event is causally determined. For an event ‘A’ to occur casually means that there are antecedent causes that ensure the occurrence of ‘A’ in accordance with impersonal, mechanical causal laws. To clarify hard determinism further, let me present hard determinism as an argument. Basically hard determinism argues that: (a) Determinism is true (b) Determinism is incompatible with free will (Holbach, 451). In defense of premise (a), the hard determinist says that obviously everything is caused, therefore determinism is true. To prove that determinism is false, the opponent would have to come up with an example of an uncaused event. To defend premise (b), the hard determinist would say that no action is free if it must occur. Human actions result from wants, desires, motivations, feelings, etc. The human wants, desires, motivations, feelings, etc are caused by specific antecedent conditions that ensure their occurrence. Therefore, human actions are not free.

So the implication of hard determinism being true is simply that, there is no free will. But the opponents will defend vehemently that there is free will. And the first objection that they will bring to prove that there is free will is that man has the ability to step back from decisions that he has already made and do something different. This seemingly indicates that not all of human decisions are determined and man has free will. But in response to this, the hard determinist will say that since man is a reasonable human being, after carefully considering a situation, he might find something beneficial in not acting according to his initial impulse. He might decide to change his first choice because he has a new motivation, a new idea, which modifies the brain to reconsider the initial choice. And the brain gives him a new impulse by which the action of the former impulse is suspended. Let me clarify my stance with an example. Suppose a man...
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