There are two prevailing incompatibilist views concerning free will, hard Determinism or Libertarianism. The former asserts that if determinism is true, then free will is nonexistent and humans are essentially robots following a path determined for us from our past and natural laws. The latter denies that determinism is true and thus appears to introduce randomness as an explanation to account for free will. Compatibilists claim that free will and determinism can coexist. For the scope of this paper I will consider the three prevailing arguments for the existence of free will or lack thereof and argue that a compatibilist view plausible view for the existence of free will. First I will attempt to show that determinism and free will can coexist, thus rejecting the Hard Determinism argument. Next I will claim that Libertarianism does not effectively rule out determinism, by focusing on the Quantum Mechanics response. Finally I will attempt to point out a relationship between responsibility and compatibilism.
Determinism and Compatibilism
The thesis of causal determinism states that every event has a cause and that human, an event, is no exception to the rule. Thoroughly put, if we know all of the physical facts and causal laws about a situation, we can determine what will occur next. Meaning that beliefs and actions cause our actions, and our past causes our beliefs and desires (i.e. parents/grandparents). The Hard Determinist argument, which flows from the thesis of causal determination, states the following :
1) Everything we do is caused by forces over which we have no control.
2) If our actions are causes by forces which we have no control, we do not act freely.
3) Therefore, we never act freely.
The Hard Determinist argument appears to be in conflict with whether we act freely rather than “free will” or our ability to make choices. Using a thought experiment I will attempt to explain the different between acting freely