Free Will Vs. Determinism: Do You Create Your Own Destiny, Or Is It Predetermined?

1367 words - 6 pages

Throughout time, philosophers have been striving to answer the theoretical question of “Do you make your own choices or have circumstances beyond your control already decided your destiny?” For thousand of years, this question has haunted the minds of sophisticated society, because it questions the very root of man’s life. The two great debates created to solve this question are Free Will and Determinism. To answer this argument I will attempt to present the arguments of both sides, by defining their premises and major thinkers. Then I will endeavor to provide my opinion of the argument, which stands in favor of Libertarianism. I believe that according to the Scriptures, every man has the ...view middle of the document...

Because in spite of the strong arguments made by determinists, I believe that according to the Scripture every man has the free will to make his own choices.
To understand why I believe the Libertarian view, it is important to understand what exactly it claims. Libertarians believe that each man controls his own destiny. Man has the power to make his own choices that will shape his future. Every man owns himself. When entering a situation, one has the ability to have done otherwise. For example, back to the cigarette conflict of whether or not you will smoke tomorrow. Libertarianism grants you with the freedom to decide what you want to do, because there is not exterior pressure forcing you to choose one over the other. Another example, say you go out to a restaurant for lunch. There are two choices for food selections: clam chowder or peanut butter and jelly. PBJ is your typical choice, however today you are in the mood for something new. Nevertheless, you would also have o take into consideration ordering the chowder, because what if this different food brought you physical discomfort. Then you would probably want to choose the PBJ Due to this freedom, whatever you were to choose would have consequences, leaving you morally responsible for your actions. Therefore, each individual is responsible for his or her actions, whether good or bad.
One of the key reasons I am arguing in favor of Libertarianism is the fact that Free Will simply seems right. This is the strongest and most powerful argument found. It goes that say determinism were true, the complete opposite of libertarianism. If so, then it would imply that all events occur as a result of events in the past, because of the Laws of Nature. Since the Laws of nature are not in our control, what happens is not up to us. In other words, it states that we are not morally responsible for our actions. The thought of not being responsible for our individual actions does not seem right. It is almost uncomfortable to think of having no control over one’s life. Even though this particular argument does not favor a specific side, it has been known to be the strongest persuader. People like to feel like they exhibit control over their selves. They like to believe that they own themselves and are free to make their own choices, therefore this Libertarianism is can be strongly argued for.
In objection to this then is the previously stated argument of determinism. In opposition to Libertarianism, determinism argues that man has no free will. All events are causally determined by prior events having occurred in the past. Since human thoughts, choices and actions are events, they are causally determined. We have absolutely zero control over ourselves. Despite our desire, we have been completely stripped of moral responsibility. Therefore, regardless of what we do whether good or bad, we cannot be held responsible for its possible consequences. One analogy is that we are simply like a...

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