Free-Will Vs Determinism

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Free will and determinism are two distinct philosophies regarding human character that some philosophers believe to be compatible, while other philosophers do not. Determinism suggests that every action and decision is predictable and foreseeable while free will affords these decisions as random acts and selectable by our will and desire to choose to decide which path to take. In this paper, I will argue that free will is not compatible with determinism.

EXPOSITION Determinism is the modern term derived from Democritus’ ancient idea that “causal deterministic laws control the motion of atoms” (“Determinism”). Since everything in the universe consists of atoms, including people, then according to this law, this theory of deterministic …show more content…

This would also mean that moral responsibility is no longer in our hands as humans and individuals, since we freely did not make decisions on our own free will. Are free will and determinism compatible? This point of view believes actions can be free and determined, which contradicts the two points of views entirely. Daniel Dennett, a cognitive scientist and American philosopher believes that “any free will that is not compatible with determinism is not worth wanting in the first place” (Hewett, 2008). But, according to the two doctrines, you cannot have free will to make a decision if that decision is predetermined at some point. Predictability and determinism are not …show more content…

Some have written that “the reason our behavior is unpredictable from the outside is that we have ultimate freedom of choice” (“Determinism”). Free will could be described as having “voluntary and non-voluntary” acts and tendencies and what distinguishes the two refers to self-consciousness. Is this a decision or act based on self-awareness and consciousness? We may choose to act on a decision, or we may choose not to act. That is our self-conscious and our free will of decision-making. The mere act of consciously making a decision defines our moral freedom and free will. Henry Sidgewick made a valid case on consciousness when he said, “Certainly, in the case of actions in which I have a distinct consciousness of choosing between alternatives of conduct, one of which I conceive as right or reasonable, I find it impossible not to think that I can now choose to do what I so conceive, however strong may be my inclination to act unreasonably, and however uniformly I may have yielded to such inclinations in the past” (“Determinism”). Because we have the ability to actively choose a path or decision based on our conscious thoughts attests to the ability to choose based on free will and not because we are destined to choose that

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