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Freewill And Determinism Conflict (Choice) Essay

1020 words - 4 pages

We ought then regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its previous state and thecause of the one which is to follow. An intelligence knowing at a given instant of time all theforces operating in nature, as well as the position at that instant of all things of which theuniverse consists, would be able to comprehend the motions of the largest bodies in the universeand those of the smallest atoms in a single formula - provided that it was sufficiently powerful tosubmit all these data analysis. To it nothing would be uncertain and the future would be presentto its eyes as much as the past.This passage comes from P.S. de Laplace's "Philosophical Essay on Probabilities." If suchdeterminism is true, then everyone's every thought and action must be inevitable; that noone really has any choice about anything, because we are all helpless products of blindforces which have made us what we are. In this paper concerning the free will anddeterminism debate I will argue that determinism is not plausible, I shall do this by givingreasons for determining how determinism is false, give arguments for determinism, andthen refute those arguments.There are those who think that our behavior is a result of free choice, but there areothers who presume "we are servants of cosmic destiny or that behavior is nothing but areflex of heredity and environment." The position of determinism is that every event isthe necessary outcome of a cause or set of causes. That everything is a consequence ofexternal forces, and such forces produce all that happens. Man is not free. If we acceptthe determinist argument and assume human behavior as a consequence of external factorsrather than of free choice, then we must realize that our explanation of human behaviorleaves no room for morality. If people do not choose their actions, then they are not reallyresponsible for them, and there is no need for praising or blaming them. If determinismwere true, then there would be no basis for human effort, for why should a person makean effort if what he or she does doesn't make a difference? If what will be will be, thenone has an excuse for doing nothing. Life would not be so meaningful for people ondeterministic grounds. "The nature of human life may be such that man must understandhimself as being free, for human life as we know it would not make much sense withoutthe concept of freedom." The challenge and struggle usually emerge from situations,such as helping to recycle or reaching out to youths in inner city projects, in whichindividuals feel that their effort can make a difference.In our everyday lives, there are many times when we have to make decisions; whatwe are going to eat for breakfast, or where we are going to walk. When we talk or write,we are deciding on the arrangement of our thoughts, and we have to search for the rightexpressions. Our life, while we are awake and active, is a mixture of important andunimportant choices. Having free will means that we are able to...

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